BEIJING, Dec. 23(Xinhuanet)-- China's budgetary spending on social security totaled 147.4 billion yuan (18.1 billion U.S. dollars), up 64.3 percent over the figure of 2002, according to the China Financial and Economic News.
The newspaper, published by the Ministry of Finance, quoted Chinese Finance Minister Jin Renqing as saying that the central government had provided funds for three provinces in northeast China to experiment with urban social security reform and improve the basic pension system of the corporate sector.
China's budgetary spending on education in 2005 stood at 36.5 billion yuan, up 40.9 percent, said the minister.
About 34 million poor students at primary and secondary schools in central and western parts of the country were given free textbooks. Some were even given subsidized boarding, thanks to a 7 billion yuan of funds provided by central and local governments.
The students include 17 million in 592 poor counties eligible for special central government aid.
The central government allocated 4 billion yuan in 2004 and 4.2 billion yuan in 2005 for building public health service systems, including emergency aid, information, law enforcement supervision, and disease control and prevention networks at provincial, city and county levels, the minister said.
With the approval of the State Council, the ministry earmarked 2.8 billion yuan for SARS control and prevention in 2004, and 2 billion yuan for avian flu control and prevention in 2005.
The central government earmarked 22 billion yuan this year as government assistance for bankruptcies of 115 State-owned enterprises and arrangement of 590,000 laid-offs. Enditem