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State Council discusses drafts of govt work report

Updated: Jan 14,2020 08:38 PM

The State Council’s fourth plenary meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Jan 14, discussed drafts of the Government Work Report, which will be sent to provinces and departments of the central government for comment and advice. The final version will be submitted at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC).

Delivering the government work report to the NPC is the legal obligation of the State Council, and the government needs advice from all sectors to improve its work, Premier Li said.

Drafting the government work report requires listening to suggestions from all walks of life, scientifically forecasting domestic and international situations and clearly grasping societal and market priorities, he said.

Premier Li said despite rising domestic and international challenges and downward economic pressures last year, major targets were reached in the country’s major economic and social development.

The economy, he said, is running within a reasonable range, with steady improvement of development quality. Newly added employment in urban areas has surpassed 130 million for the seventh consecutive year, and people’s livelihoods have been further enhanced.

While applauding the achievement, the Premier called for awareness of the challenges and difficulties in economic and social development.

Premier Li said it is an arduous and significant task for the government to build a well-off society, and the spirit of the Central Economic Working Conference should be well-implemented to promote growth, reform and restructuring with solid policies to benefit the people and fend off risks.

He called for more attention to new situations and more forward-looking and targeted macro control.

More efforts should be made to better use counter-cycle regulation tools, push forward reform and opening-up, guide social expectation, and unleash market vitality, he said.

Premier Li also urged the acceleration and upgrade of traditional industries, and developing new growth drivers while also pushing forward targeted poverty alleviation and preventing major risks and pollution.

With all the work ahead, the government should keep the economy running within a reasonable range and continue to pursue high-quality growth, he noted.

As economic performance in the first quarter steers whole-year growth trends and market expectations, the Premier said, government departments in all regions should make preparations for a good start in social and economic development.

Measures should be in place to accelerate the issuance and use of special local government bonds, and make sure projects under construction are advanced and eligible ones start as early as possible to attract more effective investments, he said.

To further reduce financing costs for firms, the reserve requirement ratio cuts at the start of the year should be used to inject liquidity in the market, and financial institutions should be guided to offer greater financial support to the manufacturing sector as well as private businesses and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the Premier said.

Great attention should be paid to employment, he stressed, including the payment of arrears to migrant workers and related support service when they return to cities after the Spring Festival holidays.

Premier Li also called for work guaranteeing the supply of household coal, gas and electricity — especially winter heating in northern China. He added the market supply of key farm produce such as pork, and their price stability as Spring Festival nears, should be stabilized.

For people in need, the government should aid them in procuring the essentials, the Premier said, sending subsidies like temporary allowances pegged to commodity price increases, disaster-associated grants and funds and materials for those suffering distress before Spring Festival.

Premier Li added work should be done to ensure public security, public sanitation and safe production, as well as bring harmony and peace to society.

Vice-Premiers Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan and Hu Chunhua, and State Councilors Wang Yong, Xiao Jie and Zhao Kezhi also attended the meeting.