China’s rural home appliance subsidy fruitful

China’s subsidy program for purchases of home appliances in rural areas, which is due to end nationwide on Jan. 31, 2013, has brought tangible benefits to people in rural areas, according to an official statement released Saturday.

The Ministry of Finance posted a statement on its official website to guide the work of local authorities as the four-year stimulus program nears its end.

“After its implementation nationwide, the rural home appliance subsidy policy has witnessed conspicuous fruits, including driving up industrial production, promoting consumption and bringing conveniences and benefits to people living in rural areas,” the ministry said.

Official data show that home appliance sales in the country’s rural areas climbed 18.8 percent year on year to 175.24 billion yuan (28.11 billion U.S. dollars) during the January-October period of this year.

By the end of October, China had subsidized 283 million units of home appliances valued at 681.1 billion yuan since the beginning of the program.

The statement said local authorities across the country should continue to grant subsidies on qualified purchases before the policy ends, as well as enhance management of after-sales service, product quality and market order to safeguard the interests of rural people.

In December 2007, China kicked off a pilot program to subsidize rural home appliance purchases in three provinces in a bid to stimulate rural consumption and improve the livelihood of people living in rural areas.

The country opened the program up to 10 more provinces and cities in December 2008, and the program expanded nationwide in February 2009.

According to detailed regulations, the program would last for four years in all regions, which means the program will end across the country by Jan. 31, 2013.

Under the program, people living in rural areas can receive subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of designated types of home appliances, including refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, computers and air conditioners.

Xinhua