- Ehtisham Ahmad, Vito Tanzi, and Qiang Gao
- Published Date:
- September 1995
Reforming China’s Public Finances
Papers presented at a symposium held in Shanghai, China, October 25–28, 1993
International Monetary Fund Washington • 1995
© 1995 International Monetary Fund
Cover and interior design by IMF Graphics Section
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Reforming China’s Public Finances / editors, Ehtisham Ahmad, Gao
Qiang, Vito Tanzi.
- p. cm.
“Papers presented at a symposium held in Shanghai. China, October 25–28, 1993.”
Includes bibliographical references (p.).
1. Finance, Public—China—Congresses. 2. China—Economic policy—1976—Congresses. I. Ahmad, Ehtisham. II. Gao, Qiang. III. Tanzi, Vito.
HJ1401. R44 1995
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In recent years, China has taken steps to promote sustainable growth, with greater reliance on market mechanisms and institutions that facilitate orderly macroeconomic controls. The International Monetary Fund has been assisting the authorities in this endeavor. IMF participation has been particularly active in various fiscal areas such as tax policy, tax administration, budget management processes and the budget law, and fiscal relations between different levels of government.
In preparation for the introduction of major tax reforms and a new system of fiscal relations between different levels of government, the Ministry of Finance asked the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF to help prepare a seminar at which these issues could be discussed. The World Bank joined this effort, and Bank staff prepared a number of papers based on their own work in related areas. The conference, hosted jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Shanghai municipal government, made possible an exchange of views between senior officials from the central and provincial governments in China and staff and experts from the IMF and the World Bank.
The reform of Chinese public finances is essential to the success of the efforts undertaken to ensure what the Chinese authorities call a market socialist economy and to the continued prosperity for the Chinese people. The conference discussed various policy options that might be considered by the Chinese authorities and the provinces in determining a sequencing of key fiscal reforms. I trust that this volume will contribute to the reform process in China and to its understanding by observers and scholars in other parts of the world.
International Monetary Fund
The introduction of a new tax system and budget laws to generate adequate resources for the government and to create a “level playing field” in China will have consequences for fiscal relations between the central and provincial governments. The close interrelationships between these reforms was brought out in the seminar, which also provided a forum for discussion between the central and provincial governments, with presentations by the IMF and World Bank staff on international experiences and their own work in China.
The Vice-Minister of Finance, Mr. Jin Renqing, opened the seminar, stressing the importance that the central government attached to the deliberations. A great deal of preparatory work was done by officials of the Budget Management Department of the Ministry of Finance. We would like to thank in particular Ms. Feng Xiuhua, Deputy Director, and Mr. Wang Weixing, Division Chief. A Chinese version of this volume has already been published by the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD).
We would also like to thank the Mayor of Shanghai and the Finance Bureau of Shanghai Municipality for their excellent arrangements in hosting the seminar and for their hospitality during our stay in Shanghai. The presence of a large number of participants from various provinces and central government agencies contributed to a rich exchange of ideas.
World Bank staff presented a number of key papers, reflecting their own work and interest in related fields. Senior Bank staff, including, among others, Mr. Pieter Bottelier, the Resident Representative in Beijing, Mr. Ramgopal Agarwala, Division Chief, and Mr. Vinod Thomas, Chief Economist (Asia), addressed the seminar and chaired sessions.
Mr. Douglas Scott, the Fund’s Resident Representative played a key role in arranging and attending the seminar. A number of FAD staff presented papers and chaired sessions during the seminar. In recent years, FAD has provided technical assistance in the areas of tax policy and administration, budget laws and management, as well as in the area of fiscal relations between different levels of government. Special thanks are due to Juanita Roushdy of the Fund’s External Relations Department, who worked hard to prepare the volume for publication, and to Fawzia Dossani who typed numerous drafts of the manuscript.
- 1 Overview
- Ehtisham Ahmad, Gao Qiang, and Vito Tanzi
- Intragovernmental Fiscal Issues in China
- 2 Problems in Chinese Intragovernmental Fiscal Relations, Tax-Sharing System, and Future Reform
- Gao Qiang
- 3 China’s Financial Policies for Minority Nationalities and Poor Areas
- M. Zhu Zhenjun
- The Budget, Macroenomic Control, and Legal Framework
- 4 Budget Policy in China
- Bert Hofman and Shahid Yusuf
- 5 Budget Laws, Control, Review, and Management in China
- Ehtisham Ahmad, Maurice Kennedy, and Ingrid Klering
- Expenditure Assignments
- 6 A Comparative Perspective on Expenditure Assignments
- Ehtisham Ahmad
- 7 Infrastructure Provision in a Socialist Market Economy
- Bert Hofman and Richard Newfarmer
- 8 Social Expenditure Assignments in China: Issues and Responses
- Zu-Liu Hu
- Revenue Assignments—Tax Policy and Administration
- 9 Reform and the Market Economy and Tax in China
- Xu Shanda and Ma Lin
- 10 Unifying the Enterprise Income Tax and Reforming Profit Distribution Between Government and State-Owned Enterprises
- Shi Yaobin
- 11 Basic Issues of Decentralization and Tax Assignment
- Vito Tanzi
- 12 Local Taxation in an International Perspective
- Giorgio Brosio
- 13 Issues in Natural Resource Taxation
- Tama Manuelyan Atinc and Bert Hofman
- Grants and Transfers
- 14 Theory and Practice of Intergovenmental Transfers
- Anwar Shah
- 15 Implementing and Managing Grants—Institutional and Data Requirements
- Ehtisham Ahmad, Jon Craig, and Dubravko Mihaljek
- 16 Horizontal Equalization Grants
- Jon Craig