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China boosts financial support to counties

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BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Friday issued a guideline to boost financial support to counties, which are key links in grassroots administration.

The Guideline on Adjusting and Improving County-Level Basic Finance Security Mechanism is expected to help bridge regional rich-poor gaps, said Bai Jingming, an MOF researcher.

Public spending per capita in a rich county can be around 20 times that of a poor county, Bai said, adding that it is challenging to narrow the gaps.

The guideline is an updated version of the one issued in 2010, when the country hoped to secure basic finance security in counties. Basic finance security mainly includes personnel costs, public office costs and spending on people's livelihood.

In 2009, China reported 819 counties with financial deficits of 89.4 billion yuan (14.66 billion U.S. dollars), MOF data showed.

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