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State Council Adopts Four Measures to Expand Domestic Demand
Premier WEN Jiabao presided over the standing meeting of the State Council on Nov. 12, 2008, on which four practical measures were approved for the purpose of expanding the domestic demand and promoting the stable and rapid economic development of China.

The first is to review and approve the fixed-assets investment. On the meeting, there were approved the investment of 93 billion yuan (RMB) in the construction of the eastern section of No. 2 West-East Gas Pipeline, which runs through 11 provinces (regions, cities) from Zhongwei of Ningxia Islamic Autonomous Region to Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and that of 95.5 billion yuan (RMB) in the construction of the nuclear power project in Yangjiang of Guangdong Province and the expansion of the nuclear power plant in Qinshan of Zhejiang Province. It was also examined on the meeting the investment of 17.4 billion yuan (RMB) in the construction of the water conservancy projects in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Central Guizhou Province, and in Jiangxi Province, and that of civil airports in Bayan Nur of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Chizhou of Anhui Province.

The second is to raise the export rebate rate and to adjust the export tax of certain products. Since Dec. 1, 2008, the export rebate rate of certain labor-intensive products, electromechanical products, and other products that are dramatically influenced by the financial crisis is further raised, the export tax of steels, chemical products, and grains are canceled, the export tax of certain fertilizer products are reduced while the taxation methods are adjusted, and the export taxation of specific products is either initiated or increased.

The third is to fix the allocation of the post-earthquake reconstruction fund from the central revenue. Several principles are decided as follows. Firstly, Together with the post-earthquake reconstruction fund of 300 billion yuan (RMB) that is allocated from the central revenue, various kinds of reconstruction fund such as the local revenue of the disaster-hit areas, the society donations, the targeted aids, and the bank loans should be allocated in a comprehensive way. Secondly, the reconstruction funds should be allocated mainly to the 51 counties (cities and districts) defined by the post-earthquake reconstruction master plan, while the transferred payment and the aid to poverty-stricken areas of the Central Government should be strengthened for other disaster-hit areas that are not included in the plan. Thirdly, the principles, standards, and scales of subsidy fund should be determined respectively for urban and rural housing, urban construction, rural construction, public services, infrastructures, industry reconstruction, disaster precaution and relief, ecological environment, and cultural environment, all of which are classified by the reconstruction master plan.

The fourth is to put forward policies and measures of supporting the ecological restoration of forestry.

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