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China's central gov't may struggle to meet 2014 fiscal target

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BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- China may struggle to make this year's fiscal revenue target, the finance minister warned on Tuesday.

The central treasury received 2.9 trillion yuan (472 billion US dollars) from January to May, an year-on-year growth of 6.3 percent and 0.7 percentage points lower than the budgeted target, said Lou Jiwei, when briefing lawmakers on the final accounts for 2013.

This year's budgeted growth of central fiscal revenue is 7 percent.

The government is "under heavy pressure", Lou said.

Difficulties lie in the downward pressure on the economy and the program to replace business tax with value-added tax (VAT) in some service sectors, which will reduce tax revenue by some degree, Lou said.

Despite the poor central performance, total national fiscal revenue has reached 6.12 trillion yuan, up 8.8 percent and higher than the 8 percent bugeted for.

"Economic growth is stable and performance remains in a reasonable range," Lou said. "The general situation has met expectations."

The central treasury had an annual revenue of 6.02 trillion yuan in 2013, up 7.2 percent from 2012, while the spending totaled 6.97 trillion yuan. The deficit stood at 850 billion yuan.

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