REPORT ON THE EXECUTION OF THE CENTRAL AND LOCAL BUDGETS FOR 2020 AND ON THE DRAFT CENTRAL AND LOCAL BUDGETS FOR 2021
Fourth Session of the 13th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China March 5, 2021
Ministry of Finance
The Ministry of Finance has been entrusted by the State Council to submit this report on the execution of the central and local budgets for 2020 and on the draft central and local budgets for 2021 to the present Fourth Session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) for your deliberation and for comments from members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
I. Execution of the 2020 Central and Local Budgets
The year 2020 was an extraordinarily unusual year in the history of the People's Republic of China. We were confronted with a challenging and complex international environment, arduous tasks in domestic reform, development, and stability, and the serious impacts of the Covid-19 epidemic. Amid these circumstances, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core exercised overall control, maintained strategic resolve, accurately assessed the situation, created meticulous plans, adopted decisive measures, put in arduous effort, and promptly made major decisions for coordinating epidemic control with economic and social development. All regions and departments resolutely followed the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, fully applied the guiding principles of the 19th CPC National Congress and the second, third, fourth, and fifth plenary sessions of the 19th Party Central Committee, and fulfilled the decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee and the State Council. Responding to challenges and risks with calm composure and upholding high-quality development with firm resolve, we rigorously implemented the budgets reviewed and approved by the Third Session of the 13th NPC. We coordinated epidemic response with economic and social development, successfully ensured stability on six fronts, and maintained security in six areas. With quarter-on-quarter improvement, our economy gradually returned to normal, making China the world's only major economy to achieve growth in 2020. We attained a complete victory in the fight against poverty, and we scored decisive achievements in securing a full victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Overall, we have performed in a manner worthy of the history books, earning the approval of our people and capturing worldwide attention.
Looking back on the past year, it is apparent that the Covid-19 epidemic brought difficulties and challenges to fiscal operations on a level that has not been seen for many years. In the first quarter, national fiscal revenue fell by 14.3% year-on-year due to the outbreak and spread of the virus, the first instance of negative growth since 2009. In February and March alone, revenue fell by 21.4% and 26.1% respectively, with 30 out of 31 provincial-level units seeing negative growth of fiscal revenue that led to glaring imbalances between government revenue and expenditure and particular difficulties in fiscal operations for local governments. Facing this grave state of affairs, finance departments resolutely carried out the requirements of the Party Central Committee and the State Council on pursuing a more proactive and impactful fiscal policy. While making every effort to ensure spending in key areas, we took prompt action to adjust and improve the budget and strengthen counter-cyclical regulation, established a mechanism for ensuring that new fiscal funds are directly allocated to primary-level governments, and leveraged opportunities to increase revenue and cut spending, thus keeping the budget balanced and fiscal operations stable. Through arduous efforts, and as the epidemic situation improved and the economy gradually recovered, fiscal operations picked up each quarter. Revenue bounced back in the second quarter with the size of the drop shrinking to 7.4%, went from negative to positive in the third quarter with an increase of 4.7%, and continued to improve in the fourth quarter with an increase of 5.5%. Consequently, budgetary targets for the year as a whole were largely met. Execution of both central and local budgets was satisfactory.
Revenue and expenditure in the general public budget in 2020
1) National general public budget
Revenue in the national general public budget was 18.289492 trillion yuan, representing 101.5% of the budgeted figure, a decrease of 3.9% compared with 2019.
Revenue included tax receipts of 15.431006 trillion yuan, a decrease of 2.3%, and non-tax revenue of 2.858486 trillion yuan, a decrease of 11.7%. Adding in 2.613332 trillion yuan of funds from other sources and utilized carryover and surplus funds (this includes funds transferred from the Central Budget Stabilization Fund and local budget stabilization funds, the budgets of central and local government-managed funds, and the budgets of central and local government state capital operations, as well as carryover and surplus funds used by local governments), total revenue came to 20.902824 trillion yuan.
Expenditure in the national general public budget was 24.558803 trillion yuan, representing 99.1% of the budgeted figure and an increase of 2.8%. With the addition of 104.021 billion yuan used to replenish the Central Budget Stabilization Fund, total expenditure rose to 24.662824 trillion yuan. Total expenditure exceeded total revenue, leaving a deficit of 3.76 trillion yuan, which is consistent with the figure projected.
2) Central general public budget
Revenue in the central government's general public budget was 8.277108 trillion yuan, representing 100% of the budgeted figure and a decrease of 7.3%. Adding in the transfer of 530 billion yuan from the Central Budget Stabilization Fund and 358 billion yuan from the budgets of central government-managed funds and central government state capital operations, total revenue came to 9.165108 trillion yuan.
Expenditure in the central government's general public budget totaled 11.841087 trillion yuan, representing 99.1% of the budgeted figure and an increase of 8.2%. This figure includes: central government expenditures of 3.509557 trillion yuan, representing 100.2% of the budgeted figure (mainly due to increased interest payments on government bonds) and a 0.1% decrease; and transfer payments to local governments of 8.33153 trillion yuan, representing 99.3% of the budgeted figure and a 12% increase. With the addition of 104.021 billion yuan contributed to the Central Budget Stabilization Fund, total expenditure reached 11.945108 trillion yuan. Total expenditure exceeded total revenue, leaving a deficit of 2.78 trillion yuan, which is consistent with the figure projected.
Main revenue items in the central government's general public budget: Domestic value-added tax (VAT) revenue was 2.835298 trillion yuan, 98.8% of the budgeted figure. Domestic excise tax revenue amounted to 1.20281 trillion yuan, 96.1% of the budgeted figure. Revenue from VAT and excise tax on imports totaled 1.453463 trillion yuan, 109.2% of the budgeted figure. Revenue from customs duties came to 256.42 billion yuan, 93.2% of the budgeted figure. Corporate income tax revenue was 2.325757 trillion yuan, 98.3% of the budgeted figure. Individual income tax revenue was 694.091 billion yuan, 109.3% of the budgeted figure. VAT and excise tax rebates on exports totaled 1.362898 trillion yuan, 112.3% of the budgeted figure.
Main expenditures in the central government's general public budget: General public service expenditures reached 173.521 billion yuan, 100.8% of the budgeted figure, primarily due to increased spending on customs countermeasures for Covid-19. Diplomatic spending totaled 51.406 billion yuan, 94.7% of the budgeted figure. National defense spending was 1.267992 trillion yuan, 100% of the budgeted figure.
Public security expenses totaled 183.59 billion yuan, 100.2% of the budgeted figure. Spending on education came to 167.365 billion yuan, 98.5% of the budgeted figure. Spending on science and technology amounted to 321.648 billion yuan, 100.6% of the budgeted figure. Spending on stockpiling grain, edible oils, and other materials was 122.457 billion yuan, 100.7% of the budgeted figure. Interest payments on debt totaled 553.895 billion yuan, 102.6% of the budgeted figure.
Central government transfer payments made to local governments: General transfer payments totaled 6.955723 trillion yuan, 99.2% of the budgeted figure. This figure includes transfer payments for shared fiscal powers of 3.218072 trillion yuan, 98.7% of the budgeted figure. Special transfer payments reached 776.592 billion yuan, 100.1% of the budgeted figure, primarily due to increased spending allocated from the proceeds of inter-provincial land quota adjustments on the basis of practical arrangements. Special-channel transfer payments totaled 599.215 billion yuan, 99% of the budgeted figure.
In 2020, a total of 104.021 billion yuan of extra revenue and unspent funds in the central general public budget was transferred in full to the Central Budget Stabilization Fund. Central government reserve funds budgeted for 2020 amounted to 50 billion yuan. Of this, actual spending was 14.641 billion yuan, which was mainly used in post-flood reconstruction and other areas. The 35.359-billion-yuan surplus (already included in the aforementioned 104.021 billion yuan of surplus funds) was transferred in full to the Central Budget Stabilization Fund. At the end of 2020, the Central Budget Stabilization Fund had a balance of 113.131 billion yuan.
3) Local general public budget
Revenue in the local general public budget was 18.343914 trillion yuan. This figure includes 10.012384 trillion yuan in local government revenue, a decrease of 0.9% compared with 2019, and 8.33153 trillion yuan in transfer payments from the central government. With the addition of 1.725332 trillion yuan of funds transferred from local budget stabilization funds, local government-managed funds, and the local state capital operations budget as well as utilized carryover and surplus funds, total revenue reached 20.069246 trillion yuan. Expenditures in the local general public budget totaled 21.049246 trillion yuan, a 3.3% increase. Total expenditure exceeded total revenue, creating a local government deficit of 980 billion yuan, which is consistent with the figure projected.