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State Council issues measures to stimulate employment

Updated: Apr 21,2015 9:05 PM

The State Council on April 21 issued a raft of measures to stimulate employment, including more tax reductions, and exemption policies to cover sole proprietorship enterprises.

The decision was announced at the State Council’s weekly executive meeting, which was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

“Facing growing pressure on employment this year, (we) have to make more active employment policies and give full support to mass entrepreneurship and innovation,” said a statement issued after the meeting.

The meeting decided that:

*Companies hiring people who have been jobless for more than half a year will get tax benefits. Previously the policy only covered people who had been jobless for more than one year. Tax reduction and exemption policies are expanded, from benefiting individual industrial and commercial firms set up by graduates or registered jobless people to covering sole proprietorship enterprises. Companies which have paid unemployment insurance and did not fire employees or rarely resorted to layoffs will be supported by the unemployment insurance fund.

* Restrictions on the location of newly-established companies have been eased. Local governments are encouraged to turn unused factories into low cost locations for startups.

* The maximum amount of guaranteed loans for business startups will be raised to 100,000 yuan.

* Peasant workers are encouraged to return home and start their own businesses including online ones.

* The government vowed to help families in difficulties, such as providing employment for at least one family member.

The meeting also pointed out that infrastructure construction and public service franchises are an important reform. It can help expand investment fields, stimulate social vitality and increase supplies of public products and services. It can also help drive economic development together with mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

A document on the administration of such franchises was released at the meeting.

* Fields which allow franchises include: energy, transportation, irrigation and water conservancy, environmental protection, infrastructure construction and public services.

* Through open competition, overseas legal entities or other organizations can participate in the investment, construction and operation of infrastructure construction and public services.

* Franchise pricing or charge mechanism will be improved. The government can provide necessary subsidies according to agreements, and simplify procedures such as site selection, project examination and approval.

* Prospective revenues of franchise projects can be used as collateral to obtain loans. Industrial funds are encouraged to raise funds for projects. It also encouraged project companies to secure private funding and issue asset-backed bills or corporate bonds.

* Performance supervision should be strict to ensure the rights of franchisees, maintain a stable market expectation and attract social investment.

The meeting said that cleaning up and standardizing intermediary services is one key step in deepening reform of streamlining administration, delegating powers and strengthening supervision and clearing the way for innovation and business startups.

Intermediary services such as review, assessment and evaluation related to department approvals will be overhauled, said the meeting.

* Public institutions, social organizations and enterprises under the approval departments are not allowed to provide intermediary services.

* Except for items stipulated by law, approval departments should not ask applicants to use intermediary agencies, the meeting said.

* The meeting also decided to categorize intermediary services, standardize service fees, enhance supervision and improve the credit and evaluation mechanism to promote fair competition in the intermediary service market and better serve the public.