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Premier Li stresses sustaining steady economic recovery and growth

Updated: Oct 13,2020 09:57 PM

Premier Li Keqiang stressed sustaining steady economic recovery and growth trends with firm confidence and hard work, while making thorough analysis of problems and difficulties, at a symposium with officials from local governments via video link on Oct 12.

Economy rebounds as major indicators gradually recover

Governors from Liaoning, Jiangsu, Fujian, Jiangxi and Shaanxi provinces reported local economic situations and gave suggestions.

Those at the meeting said in recent months, large-scale preferential policies, especially tax and fee reduction policies, have constantly taken effect. The economy has continued to pick up, as major indicators recovered gradually, new emerging market entities helped drive employment and people's livelihoods were guaranteed effectively and firmly.

Premier Li said China's economy has been hit hard by the epidemic and the worldwide economic recession this year, facing more difficulties than ever. And through government efforts, the Chinese economy has maintained basic fundamentals, and presented steady resumption and growing momentum.

The Premier also said that facing severe domestic and foreign climates and mounting uncertainties, the country must strengthen confidence, fully understand the impact of the global economic recession, thoroughly analyze difficulties, and keep working hard to consolidate steady economic resumption and growth trends.

Development is the basis and key to solving the problems in China, the Premier said. Among regular epidemic prevention and control, efforts must be continued to ensure stability on six fronts and security in six areas, solve development issues through reform and opening-up, resolutely win the battle against poverty, strive to achieve positive economic growth for the whole year, and ensure the achievement of this year's major targets, he added.

Tax, fee cuts important for easing enterprises’ burdens, steady economic recovery

At the symposium, the most-asked question by Premier Li was whether the tax and fee reduction policies for the market entities have been fully implemented.

Premier Li said the epidemic and the world’s economic recession have directly impacted the consumption sector, small and micro enterprises and individual businesses. From the central government to local governments, a consensus was reached — stable employment, people's basic livelihoods, and market entities, staying in first place, must be safeguarded.

“The policies we have introduced were to focus on key areas,” the Premier said. “The central government has increased the fiscal deficit by 1 trillion yuan this year, issued 1 trillion yuan of special government bonds for fighting against COVID-19, and established a mechanism to directly transfer the newly-added 2 trillion yuan funds to grassroots units for tax and fee reductions,” the Premier added.

He said tax and fee cuts and interest concessions are important supports for easing enterprises’ burdens, the key measures for the economy’s steady recovery.

“Now that the economy is rebounding, we must work hard to implement the policies in the coming months, use the directly-channeled fiscal funds in more accurate ways, fulfill the promises made for market entities and boost their development,” the Premier said.

Premier Li urged government at all levels to tighten their belts, and ban centralized cleaning tax arrears and unreasonable fees. He also stressed larger coverage of inclusive finance and more effective financial services to small, medium-sized and micro businesses and industries in difficulty.

“The tax, fees cuts and interest concessions are very important,” the Premier said. “Government departments and local authorities should consider the bigger picture and jointly stabilize the market entities to sustain employment and economic development.”

Proper measures to stabilize the economy

The new business forms and models based on the internet and digital technologies have not only supported epidemic control, but driven economic growth and recovery, Premier Li said.

Since consumption still felt the epidemic's impact, local governments must continue to develop new business models, promote online and offline integration, and coordinate the development of new and traditional consumption, to drive economic growth by unleashing consumption potential.

Premier Li also stressed the role of investment in driving the economy. He called for advancing the construction of new infrastructure and new urbanization initiatives and major projects, tapping more new effective investment growth points in ecological and environmental protection and tackling problems in key technologies.

The government did not resort to massive, indiscriminate stimulus measures, but took reasonable measures to ensure newly-added fiscal funds were funneled directly to the severely-affected small and medium enterprises and individual businesses, the Premier said.

"That helped stabilize the economy, and did not leave any bad effects," he added.

Release domestic demand in further opening-up

According to governors from five provinces, the number of new market entities was rising rapidly since the third quarter.

It was an important indicator, Premier Li responded, adding stable employment relies on more market entities.

He added continued reform and opening-up and an optimized business environment hold the key to ensure stability on six fronts and security in six areas.

He called for advancing reforms, including administrative reform, to help more new market entities emerge and grow, building a more resilient and vibrant economy.

China will firmly open wider to the world, put in place policies on stabilizing foreign trade and investment, expand imports and exports, and maintain stability of industrial chains and supply chains, the Premier added.

Development should serve the people

The fundamental goal of development is for the better life of the people, Premier Li said, adding that the key tasks concerning people's basic livelihood should be fulfilled and multiple measures should be rolled out to help key groups, such as college graduates and migrant workers, find jobs.

Also, the country must ensure the timely and full payment of pensions to retired people, implement security policies on unemployment and minimum living security allowance, and guarantee basic livelihoods for those who get into difficulties due to the epidemic and floods, he said.

He called for coordination of supplies of coal, electricity, oil and gas to ensure a warm winter for the people. Responsibilities on safe production also should be strengthened, he added.

Facing the tough battles, more work should be done to complete the main tasks of the year, Premier Li said.