Special bonds "speed up" to stimulate investment (Rui Finance)

  This year's government work report proposes to arrange 3.65 trillion yuan in special bonds.

How to divide this 3.65 trillion yuan?

How to reasonably expand the scope of use?

These questions were answered at the State Council's regular policy briefing held by the State Council Information Office on April 12.

The relevant person in charge of the Ministry of Finance stated at the meeting that they will speed up the issuance and use of special bonds, support local governments to ensure the intensity of fiscal expenditures, and better play the positive role of special bonds in stimulating effective investment.

  Significantly faster than in previous years

  "The issuance and use of special bonds this year started early and moved quickly, and the progress is significantly faster than in previous years." Xu Hongcai, deputy minister of the Ministry of Finance, introduced that in accordance with the deployment of the Central Economic Work Conference and the requirements of the government work report, the scale of new local government bonds was 3.65 trillion yuan. Among them, all the special bond quotas for project construction have been issued.

"In order to facilitate local arrangements, with the approval of the State Council, in December last year, the Ministry of Finance issued an additional quota of 1.46 trillion yuan for local special bonds in 2022. On March 29, the State Council executive meeting deployed to accelerate the issuance and use of government bonds, and the Ministry of Finance seriously After implementing it, on March 30, the remaining quotas for new special bonds were issued to all localities." Xu Hongcai said that at present, all localities are speeding up the implementation of budget adjustment procedures, and the newly issued quotas will be broken down to cities and counties as soon as possible.

  According to reports, most of the special bond quotas issued in advance have been issued.

As of the end of March 2022, all provinces have basically organized and carried out the issuance of the quota issued in advance, with a cumulative issuance of about 1.25 trillion yuan, accounting for 86% of the quota issued in advance; the financial departments at all levels have allocated a total of 852.8 billion bond funds to project units. Yuan, accounting for 68% of the newly issued special bonds.

Among the special bonds that have been issued, 415.7 billion yuan for municipal and industrial park infrastructure, 231.6 billion yuan for transportation infrastructure, 225.1 billion yuan for social undertakings, 201.6 billion yuan for affordable housing projects, 100.4 billion yuan for agriculture, forestry and water conservancy, and 46.8 billion yuan for ecological protection , energy, urban and rural cold chain and other logistics infrastructure 25.1 billion yuan, "These projects will play a very important role in stabilizing the macro economy." Xu Hongcai said.

  In terms of speeding up the use of special bonds, all localities attach great importance to the reserve of special bond projects, and a total of 71,000 projects have been reserved in two batches.

"At the same time, the responsibilities of the competent departments and project units will be further consolidated, and it is required to speed up the use of funds, strengthen the management of funds, and ensure that the investment scale formed by the actual use of special bonds will increase significantly and play a role as soon as possible." Xu Hongcai said.

  Funds follow the project

  Xu Hongcai introduced that when the central finance is assigned to provinces and provinces to cities and counties, the following principles are mainly followed:

  First, fully consider the financial resources and debt risk levels of each region.

It is necessary to favor provinces with strong financial strength and low debt risk, control the scale of new quotas in high-risk areas, and avoid the accumulation of risks in high-risk areas.

At the same time, under the premise of strictly implementing risk prevention measures, comprehensively consider the debt risks in high-risk areas and reasonably arrange quotas, and urge high-risk areas to steadily reduce the risk level.

  Second, adhere to the principle of "funds follow the project", give preference to areas with mature and many key projects, and focus on supporting major projects such as infrastructure and public services with certain benefits, as well as major national strategic projects.

Local governments are required to appropriately increase the concentration of the use of special bond funds, and the quota should be tilted toward the central and provincial key projects at the provincial and municipal levels.

  Third, fully embody the "clear distinction between rewards and punishments", deducting the quotas for areas that violate financial discipline and slow use of funds, and give appropriate rewards to areas that are well-managed and used quickly.

  Fourth, strictly implement the management of the negative list of special bonds, and make it clear that the funds of special bonds shall not support the expenditure of buildings, image projects and performance projects, and non-public welfare capital projects.

  Song Qichao, head of the Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance and director of the Government Debt Research and Evaluation Center, said that in 2022, the investment fields of special bonds will remain stable on the whole, and at the same time, optimization and adjustment will be made in light of new situations in economic operation.

"This year's special bonds will continue to focus on transportation infrastructure, energy, agriculture, forestry and water conservancy, ecological and environmental protection, social undertakings, urban and rural cold chain and other logistics infrastructure, municipal and industrial park infrastructure, major national strategic projects, affordable housing projects, etc. 9 major "Song Qichao said, at the same time, increase investment in areas such as benefiting people's livelihood and solving people's worries, supporting the construction of projects that increase the stamina and improve the level, and promote the construction of projects that make up for shortcomings and strong and weak areas.

  Ensuring that debt issuance tasks are completed on time

  The Ministry of Finance stated that for the quota issued in advance in December 2021, we will strive to complete the issuance by the end of May this year; for the quota allocated at the end of March 2022, the issuance will be started as soon as possible and all issued by the end of September this year.

Wang Xiaolong, director of the Treasury Department of the Ministry of Finance, introduced that the Ministry of Finance will urge all localities to quickly formulate bond issuance plans, especially the second quarter bond issuance plans in accordance with relevant progress requirements.

At the same time, all localities are required to quickly prepare for the issuance of local bonds, including information disclosure and credit rating work, and start the issuance of the newly issued special bond quota as soon as possible, and strive to achieve early issuance and early use.

  "The Ministry of Finance will strengthen overall planning and coordination, and do a good job in coordinating the issuance of government bonds and local bonds, as well as local bonds in different regions, to ensure smooth connection and smooth issuance of government bonds." Wang Xiaolong said.

  In light of the epidemic situation, the Ministry of Finance continued to do a good job in the issuance of local bonds.

"Because of the epidemic, many places cannot travel to issue bonds, and the Ministry of Finance accepts local entrustment to issue bonds." Wang Xiaolong said, "In order to do a good job in this work, we have set up a special group to ensure that local bond issuance is not affected by the epidemic. , to better play the role of local debt in expanding investment and responding to economic downward pressure."

  Guide local governments to strengthen the overall coordination of the issuance of local bonds and the management of treasury funds.

For projects for which bond funds have been allocated in the budget, the local government is instructed to mobilize the treasury funds for payment before the issuance of the bonds, and make up after the issuance of the bonds, so as to effectively meet the needs of the project construction. Funds, support local key expenditure needs, and avoid the situation that the construction of major projects is affected by insufficient funds.