BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- China will increase the scale of local government special bonds as part of the more proactive fiscal policies to offset the economic impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Friday.
Efforts will be made to expedite the issuance and utilization of local government special bonds, Vice Finance Minister Xu Hongcai told a press conference, stressing that priority should be given to regions with major projects and low risks.
As of Tuesday, the value of local government special bonds issued this year totaled 1.08 trillion yuan (about 151.9 billion U.S. dollars), surging 63 percent year on year.
The MOF has previously allocated 1.29 trillion yuan worth of new local government special bond quotas ahead of schedule this year to shore up the virus-hit economy and a State Council executive meeting on Tuesday decided to further increase the issuance to support effective investment.
The special bond sales will be used to fund projects such as transportation facilities, water conservancy works and industrial parks, said Xu.
The country will also tailor investment to firm up public health services, vocational education, municipal utilities, and the renovation of old urban residential areas, he said.
Xu attached importance to "new infrastructure," including 5G network, data center, artificial intelligence and industrial internet.
Local governments are also encouraged to attract the participation of more social capital, he added.