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China struggling to meet fiscal target: Finance minister

Updated: Jun 29,2016 9:18 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The government is struggling to meet its annual fiscal targets, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei warned on June 29.

The central treasury received 2.968 trillion yuan (about $446.4 billion) from January to May, a year-on-year increase of 0.6 percent, Lou said when delivering a State Council report on the final accounts for 2015 to the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

The increase is below the previously budgeted growth rate of 2 percent.

Total national fiscal revenue reached 6.988 trillion yuan in the same period, up 8.3 percent year on year.

Lou said the Chinese economy is generally running steady within a reasonable range this year, and a series of policies have led to more positive economic factors. However, the economy is still facing great downward pressure.

Under the current situation, the outlook for achieving the annual national fiscal revenue target is not optimistic, and greater efforts must be made, said Lou.

Lou said the finance ministry will stabilize and improve financial macroeconomic policies, focusing on supply-side structural reform and moderately expanding demand to promote the steady and healthy development of the economy.

In the meantime, the ministry will accelerate tax system reform and fully implement the law on budget, as well as strengthen budget management to prevent risks, the finance minister said.

Lou also vowed to strengthen management of local government debt by setting limits to control the scale of the debt.

The State Council report was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee at its ongoing bi-monthly session, attended by Chairman Zhang Dejiang.