Affected by the superposition of multiple factors, the fiscal operation is in a "tight balance" state, and the pressure on the balance of local fiscal revenue and expenditure has increased significantly. To this end, in addition to accelerating the issuance of transfer payments, the central government has taken steps to increase the retention rate of local fiscal funds, strengthen monitoring and supervision of local treasury operations, and increase the adjustment of fiscal expenditure structure to ensure that the overall local financial operation is stable "Basic people's livelihood, wages and operations" are effectively guaranteed-
In recent years, due to the dual impact of economic downward pressure and tax and fee reductions, the national fiscal revenue and expenditure have shown a "tight balance", and local fiscal revenue and expenditure pressure has increased significantly. Since the beginning of this year, due to the impact of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic, the government has further reduced revenue and increased expenditure, and the contradictions between revenue and expenditure have become more prominent. The central government has actively responded with more vigorous macroeconomic policies, and local financial operations have been generally stable, and "guarantee basic livelihoods, wages, and operations" have been effectively guaranteed.
The impact of the epidemic exacerbates the contradiction
The epidemic has a great impact on economic operations, and fiscal revenue has also been affected. In the first quarter, the national general public budget revenue was 4.5984 trillion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 14.3%. Among them, the central general public budget revenue was 2,115.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 16.5%; the local general public budget revenue was 2,482.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 12.3%.
In the first quarter, the national general public budget expenditure was 5.5284 trillion yuan, down 5.7% year-on-year. Among them, the central general public budget expenditure at the current level was 717.3 billion yuan, an increase of 3.7% year-on-year; local general public budget expenditure was 481.111 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 7%.
Judging from the announced fiscal revenues and expenditures of the provinces in the first quarter, most of the revenue declines are more serious, and the revenue and expenditure contradictions are prominent. For example, Beijing ’s revenue was 143.05 billion yuan, down 11%, expenditure was 222.67 billion yuan, down 0.9%; Shanxi ’s revenue was 61.74 billion yuan, down 17.8%, expenditure was 128.3 billion yuan, up 10.6%; Liaoning ’s revenue was 62.09 billion yuan, down 16.9%, Expenditure was 121.47 billion yuan, down 6.5%.
The financial revenues and expenditures released by some provinces clearly raised the issue of revenue and expenditure contradictions. For example, Liaoning Province stated that the impact of the epidemic was apparent in March, and the pressure on fiscal expenditure guarantees increased. Anhui Province said that the impact of the epidemic on financial and economic operations in the short term will continue, and it is expected that fiscal revenue will operate at a low level in the first half of the year.
Liu Jinyun, director of the Treasury Payment Center of the Ministry of Finance, introduced the characteristics of the national fiscal operation in the first quarter. The income collection effect continues to be released; the tax revenue paid to the treasury from the end of last year to the beginning of this year decreased year-on-year.
Strong guarantee of transfer payment
Judging from the comparison of revenue and expenditure, the local fiscal revenue in the first quarter was less than the expenditure, and there was a large gap between many provinces. Is this a local finance that some people are worried about being unable to make ends meet? "This formulation is a misunderstanding." Bai Jingming, a researcher at the China Academy of Fiscal Sciences, believes.
After sorting out the data of various provinces, it can be seen that the fiscal expenditures of most provinces far exceed fiscal revenues. For example, Ningxia has revenue of 10.12 billion yuan and expenditure of 42.39 billion yuan, Gansu has revenue of 18.35 billion yuan and expenditure of 96.46 billion yuan, and Heilongjiang has revenue of 28.73 billion yuan and expenditure of 145.1 billion yuan. Some provinces have smaller income and expenditure gaps, such as Shanghai ’s revenue of 200.61 billion yuan and expenditure of 202.81 billion yuan, Zhejiang ’s revenue of 216.297 billion yuan and expenditure of 245.841 billion yuan. There are also some places where revenue exceeds expenditure, such as Xiamen ’s revenue of 38.87 billion yuan and expenditure of 27.31 billion yuan, Ningbo ’s revenue of 45.54 billion yuan and expenditure of 43.82 billion yuan.
China implements an inter-regional income redistribution mechanism based on transfer payments. The central government implements transfer payments to local governments, including general transfer payments and special transfer payments. "Financial income in local statistics refers specifically to 'level income', but fiscal expenditure includes expenditures related to central transfer payments." Bai Jingming explained that a significant portion of funds in local expenditures come from central transfer payments.
From the 2019 budget report, we can see why there is a “gap” in local fiscal revenue and expenditure. In 2019, the local general public budget revenue was 10.207 trillion yuan, the central government ’s transfer payment income was 7.5399 trillion yuan, the local government transferred funds and the use of carry-over balance was 119.5 billion yuan, and the total income was 19049 billion yuan; the local general public budget Expenditures on 1993.49 billion yuan and local budget deficits of 930 billion yuan were made up by issuing local government general bonds. This means that nearly 40% of local fiscal expenditure comes from central transfer payments.
"It can be seen that not all local fiscal expenditures come from local revenues, but a considerable portion comes from central transfer payments. Especially in central and western provinces, central transfer payments account for a high proportion of their expenditures, many of which are above 50%. "Bai Jingming said.
Regarding this year's transfer payment, Wang Kebing, a first-level inspector of the Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance, recently introduced that the central government issued transfer payment funds in a timely manner. On the basis of the transfer payment of 6.1 trillion yuan in advance in the fourth quarter of last year, balanced transfer payments were pre-allocated this year 70 billion yuan, the county-level basic financial resources guarantee mechanism awards 40.6 billion yuan of supplementary funds.
Prior to this, Vice Minister of Finance Xu Hongcai said at the press conference of the State Council Office that from the current situation, the local financial operation is generally stable, the epidemic prevention and control funds have been adequately guaranteed, and the basic government ’s “guarantee basic livelihood, wages, "Keep running" has no risk problems.
Open source throttling to relieve pressure
"For a period of time to come, the finance will face pressure to reduce revenue and increase expenditure overall, and the fiscal operation will still be in a 'tight balance' state." Liu Kun, Minister of Finance, said.
Faced with the impact of the epidemic, the central government made a series of important deployments. The Politburo meeting pointed out that greater macro-policy efforts should be used to counteract the impact of the epidemic. A proactive fiscal policy should be more proactive, raise the deficit rate, issue special anti-epidemic government bonds, increase local government special bonds, improve the efficiency of fund use, and truly play a key role in stabilizing the economy.
In order to increase support for local finance and improve the grassroots ability to “preserve basic livelihoods, wages, and operations”, in addition to accelerating the issuance of transfer payments, the central government has also taken steps to increase the retention ratio of local fiscal funds and strengthen monitoring of local treasury operations Supervise and increase the adjustment of fiscal expenditure structure and other measures.
For example, the executive meeting of the State Council has determined to increase the proportion of local fiscal funds retained in stages. From March 1 to the end of June, a unified increase of 5 percentage points will be made on the basis of the approved retention ratios of the provinces that year. According to estimates, local reserves will increase by about 110 billion yuan in the first four months.
Recently, the Ministry of Finance issued ahead of schedule the third batch of local government new special bond quota of 1 trillion yuan this year. Coupled with the first two batches of advance issued this year, the new local government bond quota was 1.848 trillion yuan, and the newly issued bond advance quota has reached 2.848 trillion yuan, effectively driving the expansion of effective investment.
"The central government will co-ordinate new deficits, carry-over funds from previous years, and reduce the financial resources vacated at this level to effectively increase local financial support and effectively guarantee grassroots operations. Actively innovate fiscal fund allocation methods to ensure funds Directly reach the city and county grassroots level, directly to the field of people's livelihood. "Liu Kun said.
Local governments are also actively taking countermeasures. "The contradictions between fiscal revenues and expenditures in various regions have increased, and the government has become an inevitable choice for a tighter life, reducing administrative expenses such as personnel expenses and office expenses," said Liu Xiaochuan, executive dean of the China Institute of Public Finance at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Wang Zecai, director of the Government Performance Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, pointed out that localities should take measures according to local conditions and take comprehensive measures, especially to firmly establish the idea of "long-term and over-tight days" and scientifically arrange this year's revenue and expenditure budget.
At present, various regions have carried out a series of explorations in dealing with the contradictions in revenue and expenditure. For example, various regions have made efforts to reduce administrative costs by reducing general expenditures and "three public expenditures" and implementing the principle of "fixing revenues and spending"; Xiamen, Guizhou and other places regard the full implementation of zero-based budget reforms as an example of this tight day trick.
Bai Jingming believes that only by strengthening budget management, especially by optimizing the expenditure structure, can we alleviate revenue and expenditure contradictions and achieve sustainable financial and economic development; we must speed up the improvement of the expenditure standard system and reduce the standard level of general expenditure; we must improve budget performance management, especially It is to strengthen the use of performance evaluation results and resolutely vigorously reduce inefficient and invalid expenditures through performance evaluation. "The fundamentals of China's economic stability and improvement have not changed, especially the current economic and social operations have gradually become normal, and the order of production and living has accelerated. With the implementation of a series of major measures deployed by the central government, the decline in fiscal revenue will gradually narrow. The fiscal revenue situation is gradually improving, and income and expenditure conflicts will be effectively alleviated. "Bai Jingming said.
Economic Daily · China Economic Net reporter Zeng Jinhua