ADB calls on China to raise rural spending – Richard McGregor

From the Financial Times (link)

China could provide its poorest citizens in rural areas with basic healthcare, free education and a minimum living standard for a relatively modest fiscal outlay, according to the head of the Asian Development Bank.

Haruhiko Kuroda, the chairman of the Manila-based body, said Rmb100bn ($12.5bn, ‚Ǩ10.2bn, ¬£7bn) a year could underwrite the living standards of China’s poorest 25m people, paying for nine years of schooling for 120m rural students and basic healthcare for the countryside’s 770m people. “Given that fiscal revenues increased by about Rmb500m in the past two years, such an outlay is feasible and would go a long way to making growth more inclusive and equitable,” he said.

The ADB formula complements and in some respects matches the Beijing government’s own commitment to tackle income inequality laid out this month in the five-year economic plan to 2010.

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