BEIJING, Feb 25, 2010 (AFP) - China plans to expand subsidies to help the country's vast rural poor buy home appliances and vehicles, as the government steps up efforts to boost domestic consumption.
The range of products eligible for government subsidies will be widened and support will be given to increase sales of "new energy" vehicles, the State Council said late Wednesday after a meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.
"We will continue to implement policies to encourage home appliance sales in the countryside, the replacement of autos and home appliances, expand the products (eligible for) subsidies and support the promotion of new energy cars," it said in a statement.
The statement by China's cabinet did not provide details on the subsidy program for appliances such as fridges and washing machines, or on what constitutes "new energy" vehicles.
China is seeking to increase consumption among its 900 million rural residents as part of a broader effort to reduce the country's heavy reliance on exports and investment to drive growth.