Minister of Finance pledges fiscal support for education

Updated: 2012-03-07 10:12


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BEIJING - Minister of Finance Xie Xuren said Tuesday governments at multiple levels have made efforts to ensure that educational spending accounts for 4 percent of the GDP in their budgets for this year.

The budgeted expenditures for education in 2012, if followed, will mark the fulfillment of the government's commitment to raise education spending two years ago.

According to an outline of China's national plan for education reform and development through the end of 2020, the Chinese government has promised to increase educational investment and have educational spending account for 4 percent of the country's GDP.

"Finance departments across the country have sought to raise more funds for education through fiscal arrangements in past years," Xie said at a press conference elaborating on the country's fiscal policy.

The policy was set in a government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao to Monday's legislative session.

Xie said China has budged about 2.2 trillion yuan ($348.95 billion) for education this year. The figure is above the 2.02 trillion yuan required to meet the educational spending goal outlined in the plan.

Local governments have turned to new sources to raise funding for education, including using 10 percent of the funds raised by charging land transfer fees for schools.

According to Wen's report, China will continue its proactive fiscal policy this year, with total expenditures amounting to 12.43 trillion yuan, up 14.1 percent year-on-year.