Chinese Premier promises government action to protect the economy
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has set out the government’s priorities as the economy faces downward pressure and increasing challenges from world economic and geopolitical factors and a rising number of Covid-19 cases at home.
He told an executive meeting of the State Council that prevention and control of Covid-19 needed to go hand-in-hand with economic and social development.
To this end, he said the government will closely monitor changes to the global economic situation and the trends in bulk commodity prices, and the impact of these factors on China.
Li told the meeting that the country needed macroeconomic policies that would keep markets stable and protect jobs.
Tax refunds and reductions will play a key role in maintaining a stable economy, the meeting heard, and Li said a detailed plan for value-added tax credit refunds will be formulated and launched as soon as possible.
Additionally, financial institutions should be encouraged to roll out measures to help medium, small and micro enterprises, with a view to making financing more accessible and reducing financing costs.
Efforts will be made to boost domestic demand, boost consumption and increase investment. To this end, stable supplies of coal and electricity will be ensured.
Li underlined the efforts being made by the government to strengthen market oversight, safeguard fair competition, and make advances in core technologies.
And he said policies must be fully implemented to help resolve the difficulties faced by foreign-invested enterprises and foreign trade enterprises.
The meeting also underscored the need to consolidate and expand the government’s achievements in alleviating poverty, and implementing measures around compulsory education, basic medical care, basic housing and other areas to ensure the people’s essential needs are being met.
Tax refunds to reach record levels
China’s tax cuts and refunds will reach a record high this year, in an effort to relieve the financial burden on companies and boost consumer spending, according to Minister of Finance Liu Kun.
Liu made the remarks at the recent ‘Two sessions’ conference, where a government report submitted to the national legislature said the total volume of tax refunds and cuts will be around 2.5 trillion yuan ($395 billion) in 2022.
One trillion yuan will go to six sectors, including manufacturing, with another 1 trillion yuan for micro and small enterprises and self-employed individuals, Liu said.
Additionally, businesses will receive a 1.5 trillion yuan boost to their cash flow in the form of value-added tax credit refunds, he said.
Two Sessions is one of China’s most important annual political events. It involves meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). More than 5,000 of the mainland’s political and business elite attended this year’s event in Beijing, which took place between March 4-11.