Premier Li Keqiang presided over an executive meeting on strengthening budget management and improving transparency of government income and spending.
The meeting was held on Sept 2, two days after the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved a Budget Law revision.
Li said the budget management reform is a self-imposed revolution, which “first touches the interest of government organs at central and local levels”.
He also said a standardized and transparent budget system will improve government credibility and help establish an anti-graft system — in addition to ensuring fiscal security and increasing capital efficiency.
He urged officials to use reforms to strengthen budget management, and also to build a transparent financial system to prevent and control local debt risks.
“In addition to central departments, State Council departments, and government departments at local levels, all institutions using financial funds must publicize their budgets,” Li said. “There is nothing to hide. Apart from classified information, all budgets must be publicized.”
Li said the government will secure investment in important fields that benefit people’s livelihood, but relevant departments should make sure the expenditure report is released.
“The people should be informed about how fiscal funds are spent and what has been done with the money. The public should be able to monitor if the expenditure is reasonable or not.”
Li added the government will launch campaigns to clear small coffers and scrap unnecessary fees, while regulating management on tax collection and nontax incomes.
He said more efforts will be made to improve management on treasury funds in order to awaken “sleeping money”, referring to fiscal funds left untouched for years in various departments and local governments. He also vowed tighter audit supervision to deter illegal activities.
“According to the revised Budget Law and the new reform plan, the central government will collect funds left untouched for a long time — and will use them wisely,” Li said.
“The ‘sleeping money’ should be allocated to key fields that benefit structural adjustment and improve people’s livelihood,” he said.
Li added the government will allow provincial-level governments to issue bonds within a certain quota, while at the same time closely watching debt risks.
He said the fiscal budget is a financial redistribution of the national income, and he called for further advances in budget management reform to make sure the fiscal funds support social justice and are used efficiently.