There may be a Chinese version of the US tax refund in President Bush’s latest stimulus package. This news from Shanghai according to Northern Online (Chinese), translated by CDT:
Xing Pu (刑普), deputy chief economist of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (Group) and US-educated former Lehman Brothers analyst, kicked a wild idea around during the Shanghai “double congress.” This out-of-the-box proposal asks the national government to hand out a 1,000-yuan bonus to every Chinese. But Xing’s bill got killed before forming a real legislative proposal to be delivered for deliberation in next month’s national conferences of both the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Last year, China’s GDP grew by 11% to 24.66 trillion yuan, finishing a fifth consecutive year of double digit growth. The country’s fiscal revenues, last year at five trillion yuan, more than doubled in the same five years, making the GDP growths in this period pale in comparison. China collected only two trillion yuan into the national coffers in 2003.
On the individual side, Chinese urban residents’ disposable income rose only 9.8%, and rural residents earned 6.8% more in these five years. And with the skyrocketing prices for food and other basic living items, many Chinese may not find their income rising at all.
Thus Xing’s bill of a stimulus package. Although blocked by his Shanghai colleagues as being “ridiculous,” Xing insists that he will find another way to send the proposal up to Beijing.