State-owned companies in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces are building soybean-crushing plants that will add at least 9 per cent to China's crushing capacity, Bloomberg reported. The crushers will help process beans produced under a government programme to grow beans with a high oil content on 667,000 hectares in northeast China, and would help boost farmers' incomes by providing a market for their beans and by cutting transportation costs. However, China's crushing capacity exceeds consumption by about 33 per cent and construction of the new plants is likely lead to the closure of some less efficient crushers.
Farmers' tax reform to be extended The tax-for-fees reform that aims to replace arbitrary fees levied on farmers by local officials with standard taxes is to be extended to cover 18 new provincial-level authorities this year, China Daily said. Following the successful operation of a two-year pilot scheme in Anhui province, the scheme will cover three-quarters of the rural population.
The newspaper report said that the scheme had reduced the financial burden on local populations by up to a third, but did not mention how local governments were to be compensated for the loss of income.