China’s local government debt rose by RMB700 billion in the year and a half leading up to 2015 to reach a total of RMB11.6 trillion (US$1.81 trillion), South China Morning Post reported, citing mainland news magazine Caixin. The figures were contained in a report sent to China’s rubber-stamp legislature, which is considering a bill from the State Council that would give the latter power over how much local governments can borrow. About RMB6.6 trillion of the 2014 year-end total was incurred through funding projects in transport, public facilities and energy projects–an increase of 27%. Debt from spending on agriculture, affordable housing, science and culture, medicine and education totaled RMB2.9 trillion, up 81% from 18 months earlier.
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