Wuxiaworld > The World Online > Chapter 53 - Financial Services

Chapter 53 - Financial Services

Chapter 53 - Financial Services



Translator: TeamTWO

Editor: Levs



The township interface had some interesting changes, as compared with that of a village.

The biggest change was the former massive list of basic buildings was now divided into five categories - basic, agricultural, commercial, cultural and military.

After upgrading to a township, the industries were more divided, requiring more orderly planning. To this end, the lords needed to develop more detailed industry management practices, forming a more comprehensive administration system.

Ouyang Shuo had already begun to implement this in the village stage. It was no exaggeration to say that Shanhai’s administrative structure was enough to deal with the entire Township stage, even if he had no greater ambitions.

At present, more than 80% of the villages had basically the village head for their administrative structure, plus one to two deputy heads to help maintain operations.

That very primitive administrative structure could just barely work in the village stage. After all, affairs at the village level were few enough that a diligent lord could manage them with one or two effective deputies. Not all territories were going to be like Shanhai, basically forming a perfect industry base from salt panning, fisheries, animal breeding, industry and commerce, simply all-encompassing.

Most of the lords could upgrade the necessary infrastructure. They had to pray and hope that they could get excess funds and resources to develop other industries.

There was also the need to satisfy the requirements of the township level, which was the purpose of the four indices. The system was set to encourage lords to develop a solid foundation at the village level, before upgrading to a town, instead of trying to remedy their shortcomings afterwards.

Another change was that it no longer reported the specific numbers of resources available to the lord, instead just reporting what level of gathering fields they had.

This was another important sign of moving from village to town. It was set so to remind the lords that he or she is now progressing forward, specific numbers of resources shall not concern them anymore. Focusing only on the numbers would indicate you are not qualified as a lord.

By this time, the lord should have a broader view of the overall situation. As a town leader, it was time to focus on upgrading resource collections and storage capacity, and doing long term planning.

Shanhai, for example, on its back was a mountain, and was next to a large forest. Whether it be stone, ore, or wood resources, it was rich in them, and for a short time he didn’t have to worry about raw resources in his lands.

This was the advantage of the basin. In addition to the large amount of wood, the basic resources of the other types also had high reserves. However, the more advanced resources, like gold, silver, or diamond mines, would depend on your luck and weren’t so easy to find.

In addition to these changes, Ouyang Shuo focused on the new infrastructure. Although there were eight new buildings in the township, he had already built most of them at the village level, and now only needed building blueprints for the cemetery and orchard to finish them up.

But that didn’t mean he could sit back and relax about updating Shanhai’s infrastructure. From village to township, four village buildings needed upgrades: the public baths, the granaries, the ancestral hall, and the private school. Upgrading these buildings, like doing the barracks previously, required him to buy the building blueprints, at ten times the previous prices.

After viewing the statistics for his lands, Ouyang Shuo finally had the time to take a serious look at the upgrade to the Lord’s Manor.

After the upgrade, the manor had moved from the traditional Chinese quadrangles courtyard into a courtyard of 2 segments. The front segment were the government offices, while the back segment were the manor's living place.

The furniture in the whole building had received an upgrade, it was now beginning to feel like a wealthy home. Most importantly, the Manor was no longer all wooden, but now included masonry in its construction.

The frontal area layout was basically the same as before, with the lobby still serving as the main hall for chamber meetings.

There were two large offices on each side of the main hall. On the west side was the Mayor’s Office, as well as the office of the Financial Division. On the east side were the offices of the Administration Department and Material Reserves Department.

In addition to a dining area, there were five small rooms for the officials to rest in. The main entrance in the front was more dignified, and there was a porter on duty now. On either side of the main entrance, there were the storage, the kitchen, and a living area for the servants.

At the back of the main chamber was the inner courtyard. The first thing that caught his eyes was a small garden. It was set with stones, running water, fish, even some birds flitting about. It was small, but very complete.

Travelling across the gravel trails in the garden, there stood the main house of the inner segment. The living hall of the main house was naturally been purposed to entertain the guests. Beside it to the west, was an independent study room, then only following it was Ouyang Shuo's bedroom.

To the east of the living hall, were two bedrooms which Ouyang Shuo had left it for Yingyu and Qing'er, the two sisters. There were also two side houses to the west and east of the main house, they were designated for the servant maids. Which Ouyang Shuo had intended to hire two servant maids to help the two sisters in their daily lives.

He passed through the inner courtyard once again, returning to the main chamber. The assembled ministers were there, ready to participate in the first expansion of the new town of Shanhai.

Ouyang Shuo smiled broadly as he greeted everyone before sitting down. “Today’s agenda is about what steps we are going to take after upgrading from a village to a township. There are some ideas and plans and so on, and I’m not going to blow horns again. I will be a listener today, let’s start with a report from the Financial Secretary!”

The first person was called, Yingyu was already prepared. Her new assistant, Qian Lifei, was standing behind her.

Yingyu went over her mental notes, and began. “At this stage of the territory, our fiscal revenue includes several sources. These are the sale of real estate, the production of salt, and taxation. Of the three main sources, the sale of real estate is mainly turned into low interest loan, and also the expense of the redemption of the welfare vouchers. There is no obvious continuing revenue on the books, although a steady stream of interest should be starting soon.

“Our golden industry is the salt pans operation. Yesterday, we sold off all of our sea salt, and there will be no further output for a short time. Finally, on taxes. Because privatization has just started, the agricultural tax is basically nothing, and for the commercial tax, only a few shops, such as the carpenters, smithy, and tailor shop have paid limited tax revenues.

“Paying attention to the financial expenditures of the territory, these include salaries, project costs expenditures, industry support spending, and military spending. There is also the remunerations of the four departments, including the salaries of government officials, and the mining and salt workers. These areas are largely a fixed expenditure.

“For project costs, the most important is the wall works and its supporting inland river and moat excavation project. The project will take a long time, requiring the use of more than a thousand workers. The industry we spend on includes the weapons workshop, wine workshop, and ranch. These are all in the beginning stages, and we need to continue investing in them, so we are not going to see any income from them for the time being. Finally, military spending is accounted independently, but is also a large cost.

“It is clear that the financial condition of the territory is not optimal. We are obviously making ends meet, and are able to support it for now, it has come almost entirely based on early system rewards and raiding bandit camps to maintain our territorial operations.

“Therefore the next step in the Financial Division’s goals is to reverse this tide and ensure that the territory’s finances are able to function properly and maintain a balance of payments and income. The most important part of this is to increase our revenue. To this end, the Financial Secretary is set to expand the scale of the salt pans, and further stimulate the development of the two major industrial and commercial measures.

“The salt pans to the north is a financial pillar of the territory. Expanding its size will quickly increase our revenue, and have an immediate effect. However, there are advantages and disadvantages. A single financial income is not conducive to healthy territorial development, and it has no defense against external risks.

“Therefore, the Financial Secretary’s main objective is to boost the industrial and commercial development of the territory. To this end, the Financial Secretary has proposed a separate support fund to encourage more skilled people to set up shops or workshops. At the the town level, the smith, tailor shop, and woodworking shop are unable to meet the current demand. This is a long-term plan, to promote commercial competition and prosperity in the territory.”

Ouyang Shuo nodded with satisfaction after listening seriously to the Financial Secretary’s report, smiling and saying, “Well, the Financial Secretary’s report is very clear. I basically agree with the report. However, in order to stimulate the economy, we will implement the policy with some institutional changes.

“To that end, I have decided to upgrade the Financial Division to the Finance Department, with the Taxation Division and Business Division under it. The former Financial Secretary, Cui Yingyu, will serve as Financial Secretary and Director of the Business Division. The former Financial Secretary’s Assistant, will serve as Director of the Taxation Division. The specified economic stimulus policy will be implemented by the new Business Division.”

财政司升格之后,在行政级别上与行政署和物资储备署平级,有利于财政署开展工作。

Qian Lifei, Yingyu’s disciple, in a few days time he had gone up two levels, from a clerk to the assistant director, and was now in charge of the Tax Department. This also fully exposed the lack of talent in Shanhai, many positions had to raise seedlings.

Of course, this was also related to Ouyang Shuo’s rapid ambitious expansion. Such an administrative structure was actually enough to support the county level, but he was still fiddling around at the township level.