Global economy is stumbling, and neither can China stay out of the trouble. On 9, Nov, a striking stimulus plan, totally of 4 trillion yuan, was announced to public by the central government. Stock market was encouraged, so was the confidence of global market as it signals China’s pledge to pitch in the effort to solve the financial crisis.
However, the worry of public didn’t fade away, but only turned to new concerns: first, would the immense plan simply mean a big meal for corruption; second, would the over-heated constructions lead to more shoddy works, as that exposed by the subway tunnel tragedy happened last month in Hangzhou?
A massive infrastructure spending program has been pushed forward. The stimulus package is estimated to reach at 4 trillion yuan (about 570 billion U.S. dollars), which will be spent in the next two years to offset the gloomy global economic condition.
This is just the plan proposed by the central government. Shortly after it was revealed, local governments all over China followed closely to open their own plans that totally amount to 18 trillion yuan. A wave of heated construction is expected to flood across the country.
In the agenda of central government, the 4 trillion is going to be spent on 10 categories, among them welfare investment such as housing for low-income, health-care system and education, also infrastructure-building such as new railways, roads and airports. Specially, aid to post-earthquake reconstruction in Si-chuan is mentioned in the agenda. Equally notable is the subsidy for farmers and an explicit announcement to increase the price of state food purchase from farmers.
Of only the fourth-season budget of 2008, as much as 100 billion has been allocated to different national departments and agencies. Among them, the department for transport further proposed a 5-trillion spending in the next 5 years.
The scale of the construction is unprecedented. And from the day it was pushed forward, a race has kicked off.
Journalists have reported that delegates from nearly all provinces and every department have rushed to the office of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to apply for funding, so that they can grab a piece of the huge cake.
The NDRC, along with its provincial branches, is the central agency charged to make finance plan and allocate funding. It is now one of the hottest places.
The race is speeding up. But blogger worry the fund will be spent as quickly as they were obtained but far more irresponsibly.
Wang-anping praised the tax-cut:
But given the tunnel collapse in Hangzhou, bloggers warned that a controlled spending is even more important.
First, reporter Yang-chuanmin 杨传敏 told how the transport construction is crazily speeding up:
One of the Hangzhou subway stations was completed 11 months earlier than planned. A security report in July indicates: “From January to June, 128 safety problems have been detected.”
Therefore, blogger zhangranbaodao said:
Though the plan of central government is already more than striking, the local governments leap even further. Its investment amounts to 18 trillion.
Among them, Yunnan province, neighboring Burma, proposed a significant 3 trillion investment plan. It includes the China-Burma oil pipe and some railways. Guangdong, fell behind a little with 2.3 trillion.
The funding for investment, according to experts, will mainly come from bank loans. Also, a large part will have to come from private sector, because the governments can by no means to afford so large a spending.
But bloggers express theirworry.
A columnist in Yan-zhao Metropolitan Daily says in his essay <4万亿 10万亿 18万亿 投资为何变竞赛> 4 trillion, 10 trillion, 18 trillion, why the investment turn into a race:
Also, writer Niu-dao 牛刀 said in his article 18-trillion investment is great sweet-talk《地方政府18万亿投资是个超级大忽悠》
Additionally, Ye Tan pointed out in the article, Local governments need no 10-trillion investment, letting alone the 18 trillion 《地方政府投资无需10万亿更无需18万亿》that 4 problems will be troubling:
While the most straightforward criticism comes from the scholar, professor Xu-zidong , who in a TV talk program relentlessly impugned that half the 4 trillion will be used for CORRUPTION. The program was scheduled to be rebroadcasted at 6:30 next morning. But audience found it replaced. Is it simply a pointless talk, or too honest to be tolerated?