China’s central government is borrowing more to help diffuse a $9.3 trillion time bomb in hidden local debt. But the resulting shift in fiscal power has its own risk: demotivating regional officials.

Beijing’s rare decision to issue 1 trillion yuan ($137 billion) of central debt, and transfer the funds to local governments, was hailed in October as a relief for struggling provinces.

The move came as China clips the borrowing ability of local authorities, including by banning the creation of the financing vehicles that allowed off-balance debt to spiral.