BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- China is confident of meeting all fiscal targets this year despite the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, a senior finance official said Friday.
The government has taken uncertain factors into consideration in its budget deficit this year, and can guarantee the funds for the epidemic prevention and control efforts, Yu Weiping, vice finance minister, told a press conference.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, governments at all levels had allocated 66.74 billion yuan in containing the epidemic, including 17.09 billion yuan from the central government, Yu said, assuring all parties that there are sufficient funds to fight the outbreak.
"We must ensure that no patient avoids seeing a doctor out of financial concerns, and that no local government fails to combat the epidemic effectively because of financial problems," Yu said.
China has unveiled a raft of new policies to reduce financial burdens on individuals and firms in a bid to support the fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Patients infected with the virus will have their personal treatment costs subsidized by the government, while allowances will be paid to medical staff working at the front line of the epidemic control.
Airlines' payments to the government's civil aviation development fund are waived.
Preferential loans will be given to enterprises that produce, transport or sell medical supplies and life necessities to ensure that their loan rates are lower than 1.6 percent.
The measures will reduce production and financing costs of related firms and help them to weather this difficult period and increase medical supplies, Yu said.