China's tax payers have enjoyed tax reductions of 120 billion yuan (17.65 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter, as the country offered cuts to stimulate the slowing economy, Vice Minister of Finance Zhang Shaochun said at a press conference here Wednesday.
China said last November that it would extend its value-added tax (VAT) reform to all industries from Jan. 1, as part of a 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package over the next two years to buttress economic growth.
Premier Wen Jiabao said in March that the VAT reform could see cuts of about 500 billion yuan this year.
Zhang, quoting figures released Tuesday, said the central government had spent 518.9 billion yuan, or 57.1 percent of its 908-billion yuan budget, by the end of April, mainly on projects related to people's livelihood, such as low-income housing.
Mu Hong, Vice Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at the same press conference repeated his May 6statement that the central government had allotted 300 billion yuan of stimulus investment, out of the total 1.18 trillion yuan.
The central government said in November it would offer 1.18 trillion yuan towards the 4-trillion-yuan package, the rest will come from local governments and the private sector.
The government said on Tuesday that among the 300 billion yuan,37.5 billion yuan will be spent on low-income housing, 44.7 billion yuan on education and health care, 34.2 billion yuan on scientific innovation and technological upgrading, 111.9 billion yuan on agriculture infrastructure, forestry, and water conservation in rural areas, 45.8 billion yuan on railways, roads and airports, and 25.9 billion yuan on energy conservation and environment protection.