A teller counts money in a bank in Taiyuan, north China’s Shanxi Province, August 6, 2020. /CFP

A teller counts money in a bank in Taiyuan, north China’s Shanxi Province, August 6, 2020. /CFP

China has allocated a special fund of 9.22 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) to develop inclusive finance for 2021, up 31.2 percent from the level in 2020, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said in a statement.

To cope with the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the MOF will work with relevant departments to optimize and adjust the secured loans and discount policies for startups, expand the coverage of loan policies, reduce restrictions for loan applications and increase loan lines, said the statement.

The move aims to support entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage local governments to promote small and micro financing, the statement added.

Inclusive finance includes affordable, convenient and safe financial services for farmers, small businesses, those on low incomes, the disabled and the elderly.

Meanwhile, 2.41 billion yuan of the special fund has been allocated to support small and micro enterprise financial services in 60 pilot cities.

So far, more than 36 million micro and small businesses and self-employed individuals have received access to inclusive loans, said Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank.

The central bank will continue to help foster inclusive finance after it has increased financial support for micro and small businesses and self-employed individuals in recent years, Yi said at the 13th Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai on June 10. 

(With input from Xinhua)