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State Council’s policy plans in the past week (Aug 21-27)

Updated: Aug 29,2016 7:08 AM

Govt to boost quality of consumer goods

China plans to enhance the quality and standards for consumer goods through more market-oriented measures and adopting wider range of global standards in the next five years.

A new guideline on improving consumer goods standards and quality (2016-20), initiated by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, was approved during the State Council’s executive meeting on Aug 24, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

According to the new guideline, more than 95 percent of consumer goods in major sectors will meet international standards by 2020.

China to lower costs for real economy enterprises

The State Council has issued a circular to urge reducing costs for enterprises to ensure stable growth of the real economy.

According to the circular, initial cost reduction should be made in the first one to two years, and enterprises should see rising profits in three years, after a reasonable cut in costs.

In order to cut taxes, the pilot program to replace the business tax with a value-added tax should be expanded to construction, real estate, finance, and services to ensure an actual reduction in the tax burden.

China to set up accountability system for SOEs

The State Council on Aug 23 issued a guideline on setting up an accountability system for illegal operations or investments at State-owned enterprises (SOEs).

The guideline called for strengthened supervision over departments and positions in SOEs with centralized power, abundant funds, resources and assets in a bid to increase the quality and vigor of SOEs.

According to the guideline, an accountability system and a mechanism to trace responsibility will be set up by 2017, and by 2020, an accountability work system covering investors and SOEs at all levels will also be established.

Govt approves plan to develop Pingtan as tourist island

The State Council approved a plan to build Fujian’s island county of Pingtan, the mainland’s closest spot to Taiwan, into a new model of international tourism, developing the local tourism economy and promoting cross-Straits exchanges, according to a circular issued on Aug 23.

The State Council urged Fujian’s provincial authority and the National Development and Reform Commission to explore new development model of island tourism in Pingtan, building a specialty industry system bolstered by tourism.

The tourist island should serve as a push for more cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation. Integrated into the Belt and Road Initiative, the island is expected to develop a new type of opening-up.

P2P lending companies to be better regulated

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and three other departments, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the Cyberspace Administration of China have jointly issued a regulation to toughen its control of peer-to-peer lending companies.

The regulation clarified the role of P2P lending companies as financial information service intermediaries as well as the basic principles it should follow.

The CBRC also established a sound supervision system, emphasized requirements for risk control, enhanced supervision on information leakage while attaching great importance to protection of consumers’ rights.

Critical illness insurance level to be improved

The National Health and Family Planning Commission and seven other ministries have issued a notice to enhance insurance for urban and rural residents suffering from critical illnesses, by 2016.

It urged the government at all levels to adopt specific measures to improve insurance fund level, which includes allocating 10 yuan out of 40 yuan newly added subsidy of medical insurance for each person for critical illness insurance use.

It also encouraged regions and related departments to apply favorable policies to vulnerable groups such as the poor in paying medical bills.

Student aid covers preschool to postgraduates

The ministries of education and finance have made public the country’s student aid policies that cover education from preschool to postgraduates.

Students of compulsory education are exempted from tuitions and miscellaneous fees. Undergraduates are offered national grants and loans, while postgraduate students enjoy national grants and subsidies for research, teaching and management assistants.

Pricing reform on medical services to be carried out nationwide

The National Development and Reform Commission has issued a notice on the reform on medical service prices, asking local pricing authorities to make efforts to ensure detailed reform plans are implemented by the end of this year.

According to the reform plan issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, price of medicines in public hospitals should not be higher than their purchase price.

Prices of medicines and medical examinations and tests using advance medical equipment will be gradually reduced to make room for adjusting prices of medical services.

Prices of some medical services that require human capital, such as diagnosing, operation and nursing, will be raised.

China pushes underground drainage system construction

The central government on Aug 24 called for faster construction of upgraded drainage systems across the country to cope with urban flooding.

Local governments should plan the building of underground utility corridors to help with flood prevention and control, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said in a public notice.

The government said that cities should integrate underground utility corridors with construction projects, as part of their urban planning to build modern sewer systems with efficient drainage.