Fridges to Heat Chinese Farmers

From Business Report :

“Who can believe it? How come the government is giving us money to buy things?” says the bubbly 51-year-old farmer from the eastern province of Shandong . “This is like free food falling from the sky!”

Yuan was the beneficiary of a pilot scheme entitling each rural family in three provinces to a 13 percent government rebate on the purchase of up to two television sets, two refrigerators and two cellphones.

The subsidies are part of a battery of policies by Beijing aimed at spurring domestic consumption and improving the lot of China’s 740 million rural residents. They make up 56 percent of the population but have not benefited nearly as much from the economy’s roaring growth as people in cities.

The concept is enticingly simple: give farmers the same tax rebates long given to exporters of home appliances, removing a policy bias towards exports and helping manufacturers tap a potentially huge pool of consumers in rural China.

February 24, 2008 8:50 AM
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Categories: Economy