China announced Tuesday its budget deficit leaped 58 percent in 1990, furthering "an extremely grim" pattern of overspending that the budget chief said would continue through 1995.
Finance Minister Wang Bingqian, in his budget report to the National People's Congress, exhorted delegates to help reduce the red ink in China's 1991 budget by curbing expenses and boosting tax collections.Wang echoed Premier Li Peng's disclosure Monday that China would be unable to balance its budget during the Eighth Five-Year Plan, which begins this year.
"It will be impossible to reduce the deficit within a short period of time," Wang told the deputies, saying the government hopes to "keep the deficit within a limit acceptable to the state."
"In state finances this year, we are faced with an extremely grim situation and an arduous task," Wang told the nominal Parliament's annual session, which opened Monday.
"The basic solution to our financial problems which we must pursue is to bake a bigger cake by developing production, improving efficiency and increasing public wealth," he said.
The communist government spent $65 billion in 1990, but overspent its revenues by $2.9 billion, Wang said. The 1990 deficit was 58 percent greater than the 1989 shortfall.
China plans to spend $66 billion in 1991, trimming the deficit slightly to $2.6 billion, Wang said.