The State Council on Dec 21 issued a circular concerning unified planning and integration of rural development funds, vowing to set up an effective long-term mechanism by 2020.
As an integral part in the reform of finance, tax and investment systems, these efforts are aimed at solving the problem of overlapping management and unfocused use of funds.
The circular mainly covered three detailed measures, including integrating rural development funds within the same industry, overall planning for such funds among different industries, and improving related management systems.
Overlapping state rural development funds in the same industry should be cut and integrated into two categories in terms of purpose, namely transfer payments and infrastructure investments, said the document.
A list of tasks should be issued for local authorities concerning the use of each fund, with the allocation of funds being consistent with the tasks. A performance evaluation mechanism should be set up for the implementation of tasks and use of funds.
If funds from different departments have similar purposes, such as funds for the construction of high-standard farmlands, they should be coordinated in the process of budget execution, said the circular. Those departments should communicate regarding the flow of funds and unify standards so that funds can be used more efficiently.
Regulations on the management of rural development funds should be further amended and improved, so that each fund has a corresponding regulation, according to the document.
Authority of approval for rural development fund projects should be delegated by granting higher autonomy to local authorities to use the fund and select projects in a flexible way.
Governments at all levels should enhance supervision on the funds and invite third parties, such as scholars and research institutions, to evaluate funding policies. They should also open the allocation, volume and management of funds to the public, said the document.