Not content with the US$586 billion promised to jump-start China’s economy, Beijing proved over the weekend it had a few more financial tricks up its sleeve. The National Development and Reform Commission reportedly has its sights on offering a second stimulus package made up of funds not included in The Big One from earlier this month. For stimulus package part deux, the aim is to raise salaries and taxable income thresholds for state workers. No word yet on how big it will be.
Beijing also announced it would fund only 20% of the US$439.2 billion in post-earthquake reconstruction and development in Sichuan province. Businesses and state-owned banks are expected to cover the rest. Meanwhile, on the farming front, a senior official said the country would cut tariffs on agricultural and non-agricultural products by 20-30% sometime soon. The current tariff on agricultural products is 15.2%.
While the government continues to tinker in an effort brighten economic skies, the country’s airlines are taking matters into their own hands. It was reported that Chinese carriers owe more than US$585 million to domestic airports in unpaid fees. China’s airlines lost a combined US$629 million in the third quarter. Meanwhile, real estate developer China Merchants Property Development said it would boost its balance books the old fashioned way – a public share offer this week on the Shenzhen market worth up to US$1.17 billion.