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China to improve import policies and upgrade oil products

Updated: Apr 28,2015 9:37 PM

Premier Li Keqiang presided over a State Council executive meeting on April 28, which decided to improve policies regarding the import and export of consumer goods to offer domestic consumers more choice, hasten the pace of improving the quality of oil products, enhance control on air pollution by upgrading enterprises’ technology, and reform resource taxation on rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum.

Tariffs on imported consumer goods will be cut in parts of China by the end of June to fuel domestic consumption and stabilize economic growth.

More duty-free stores will be opened at Chinese borders, with a higher purchasing cap for individual tourists and more categories of products. Easier tax refund procedures will be promoted, accompanied by reinforced efforts in customs checks to curb smuggling, the meeting decided.

A statement released after the meeting said the policies are part of the government’s efforts to boost domestic consumption, sustain growth and restructure the economy.

Pushing forward the upgrading of oil products, in accordance with a document to prevent and control air pollution issued by the State Council, is a significant measure to improve the environment and fight haze. The meeting decided to complete oil products’ upgrade earlier than scheduled.

First, automobile gasoline and diesel of China V emission standards will be provided in all 11 eastern provinces starting January 2016, an expansion from the previous planned area of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei province, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.

Second, automobile fuel with China V standard will be supplied nationwide by January 2017, a year ahead of the previous target.

Third, high-standard diesel will be provided nationwide. Starting July 2017, diesel standard IV will be provided across the nation, while diesel standard V will be widely offered starting January 2018.

To reach the goals, oil refinery enterprises will spend about 68 billion yuan ($10.96 billion) on technology upgrades, which will give a boost to industries such as equipment manufacturing.

To further eliminate unnecessary fees and regulate taxation, the meeting decided to change the tax on rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum from quantity-based to price-based, starting May 1, 2015, while ensuring the tax rate does not increase the burden on enterprises.

Meanwhile, the compensation fees charged for these three mineral resources will be waived. Government price adjustment funds will be stopped from charging enterprises. Fees charged by local government funds beneath provincial-level will be canceled. A system of mineral resources equity will be established after proper research.

The meeting also examined other issues.