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Reasonable range sought for economic expansion

Ouyang Shijia
Updated: Mar 14,2021 09:10 PM    China Daily

China's economy is not yet back on a high growth track, and the country will strive to keep economic performance within a reasonable range for the whole year, a senior official at the State Council Research Office said on March 12.

Sun Guojun, a member of the Leading Party Members' Group of the office, said the economy is still not in full recovery mode, and the government needs to work hard to maintain economic stability this year.

"Setting the GDP growth target at over 6 percent this year is due to multiple considerations such as the low base in 2020," Sun, who participated in the drafting of the Government Work Report, said at a news briefing in Beijing.

Sun said China will give priority to high-quality development this year, and focus on economic growth, employment, prices, incomes and environmental protection. "This will help us achieve sustained and stable growth, press ahead with reforms and boost innovation," Sun added.

"This year marks the start of China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), which is of special importance in the process of the nation's modernization," said Tang Jianwei, chief researcher at Bank of Communications' financial research center. "Amid mounting risks and uncertainties, it is extremely important to make a good start. "

Compared with the key tasks outlined in 2020, this year the government has attached greater importance to fields including innovation, technology, finance, agriculture, rural areas and green development, which is in line with China's transition from a rapid growth pattern to a new stage of high-quality development, Tang said.

"In the future, the government will shift the focus from simply setting quantitative economic indicators to pursuing higher-quality, more efficient, fairer and more sustainable development," he added.

China did not set a quantitative target for overall tax and fee reductions this year. Instead, the government focused on optimizing and implementing policies. For instance, it has rolled out specific tax and fee reduction policies for micro and small businesses and introduced tax incentives to encourage private sector participation in research and development.

Looking ahead, the government will also make a big push to lower enterprises' basic production and operation costs, including electricity, internet access and logistics costs. More efforts will also be made to improve the management of nontaxed revenue and put a stop to arbitrary charges and fines, Sun said.

To bring about economic stability, he suggested the government use policy tools to deepen reforms on all fronts, and optimize and adjust relevant fiscal, monetary and employment policies.

"On the one hand, we should continue to press ahead with some current supportive measures and institutional arrangements to create a more enabling environment. On the other hand, some temporary measures will be gradually unwound," Sun said.

Specific times to phase out some temporary measures depend on multiple factors including the economic recovery situation, Sun added.

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