Xinjiang's tax reform leads to improving living standards
Updated: 2011-01-19 11:10
URUMQI - Last year's reform of the resource tax law in Xinjiang resulted in over 1 billion yuan of extra revenue for the local government, which helped raise the living standards in the region, local officials said.
Starting June 2010, taxes on oil and gas products in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region were levied on price rather than output.
Resource tax revenue reached 1.92 billion yuan ($291 million) in 2010, up by 232.3 percent from a year earlier, largely due to the landmark reform, Wan Haichuan, head of the finance bureau of the region, told the local legislature's annual session that ended Tuesday.
Wan said most of the resource tax revenue had been used for creating jobs, raising retirees' pensions and minimum living allowances, and expanding the coverage of the rural pension.
Over 120 million yuan of the county's resource tax revenue had been used to renovate homes in slum areas, said Aynur Mehsat, head of the county government.
Before the reform, the resource tax only accounted for 1.6 percent of the government's revenue, according to Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of the autonomous region.
Xinjiang in China's northwest, has 20.08 billion metric tons of oil reserves, or 30 percent of the country's total reserves, and 10.3 trillion cubic meters of gas, or 34 percent of the country's total.
But the region had failed to benefit from its resources partly due to policy problems, analysts have said. In 2009, Xinjiang's local government revenue stood at 38.88 billion yuan, about 15 percent of the government tax income of Shanghai.
Last year, Xinjiang unveiled a package of reforms, including the tax reform, hoping to achieve "frog-leap development" in the region.
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