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China budgets record-high fiscal deficit
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-03-05 09:45

China announced Thursday a fiscal deficit budget of 950 billion yuan ($139 billion) for 2009, a record high in six decades, as the country boosts spending to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis.

The total deficit accounts for less than 3 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP), according to the text of a report of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao distributed to the media before the opening of the parliament's annual session Thursday morning.

Despite the deficit surge, China's constant deficit drops in previous years provide room to issue more bonds this year, says the government work report.

"The ratio of the cumulative balance of outstanding government bonds to GDP, which is around 20 percent, is within the acceptable range of what our overall national strength can bear and is therefore safe," says the report.

China set this year's central government deficit at 750 billion yuan, 570 billion yuan more than last year, according to the report.

In addition, the State Council, or Cabinet, will allow local governments to issue 200 billion yuan worth of government bonds through the Ministry of Finance, which will go into provincial budgets, says the report.

The surging deficit is part of China's proactive fiscal policy, which was adopted in November in response to a slowing economy and diminishing jobs under the pressure of the world financial turmoil.

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