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Ministry of Culture seeks bigger slice of govt bond spending

(ATF) China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has called on local governments to make full use of funds from special bonds. A notice on the ministry’s website urged all localities to utilise the advantages of special bonds to promote and implement major cultural and tourism projects.

The ministry also wants financial institutions to support for special bond projects. It urged them to do a good job in promoting and accelerating cultural and tourism projects.

The ministry says local cultural and tourism administrative departments should take the initiative to communicate with the local finance, development and reform departments, and to include the cultural and tourism industry in the key facets of local government special bonds.

The ministry was buoyed by the success of the longest “May Day” holiday in 12 years, when 115 million citizens took the opportunity to travelled across the country – and injected an estimated 47.56 billion yuan into domestic tourism outlets.

According to survey data from the China Tourism Research Institute, the proportion of tourists who chose to travel by car on the five-day Labor Day break was a record 64%.

The China Tourism Research Institute said there was no apparent spread or transmission of Covid-19 during this period, due to tourism activities, no tourism safety accidents, and no negative public opinion about travel.

Due to the smooth progress of this major holiday, the very powerful Ministry of Culture wants a bigger share of funds from special bonds issues launched by the government, although that would be done on a province by province basis.

According to the Economic Reference News, recent data from the Ministry of Finance shows that some 286.8-billion-yuan worth of local government bonds were issued in April; including 120.2 billion yuan of new bonds and 166.6 billion of refinancing bonds. The new bonds included 50.9 billion yuan of general bonds and 69.3 billion of special bonds. 

As of the end of April, nearly 1.9 trillion yuan of local bonds have been issued in 2020. Officials said a total of 3 trillion yuan of local bonds would be issued this year.

Chris Gill

With over 30 years reporting on China, Gill offers a daily digest of what is happening in the PRC.


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