Chinese premier stresses rural financial service

From: Xinhua Updated: 2014-04-23 09:41
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BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday called for constant improvement of rural financial services in an effort to bring benefits to farmers.

Li made the remarks in a written instruction to a national conference on promoting rural financing service on Tuesday.

"Boosting financial services for farmers, agriculture and rural areas has great significance for ensuring food security, building modern agriculture, raising farmers' incomes and narrowing the urban-rural gap," Li said.

The country should deepen rural financial reform, nurture rural financial market, increase agriculture-related lending and intensify policy supports, the premier said.

He also urged financial institutions to strictly implement the policy of differentiated reserve requirement ratios and improve mechanisms for financial supervision and risk management.

The State Council, the country's Cabinet, on Tuesday unveiled a document on improving financial service for the agriculture sector, rural areas and farmers.

China will deepen reform of rural financial mechanism, increase agriculture-related loans, innovate rural financial products and services and improve the financial infrastructure in rural areas, according to the document.

To boost liquidity supply to rural areas, the document said, the government will reduce the amount of cash that rural banks have to keep at the central bank.

Echoing the document, the central bank announced on Tuesday that it will cut the reserve requirement ratio for county-level rural commercial banks by 2 percentage points and that for rural credit cooperative unions by 0.5 percentage point starting from Friday.

Vice Premier Ma Kai said at the conference that the country should give full play to different types of financial institutions in rural areas, including rural credit cooperatives, development bank and commercial banks.

"The country should encourage and guide private capital to enter rural financial sector," Ma said.

Ma also said that lending to the agricultural sector should prioritize grain production, modern agriculture, agricultural technology development and rural infrastructure construction, and the amount of lending should not drop.

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