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China to further strengthen energy and provisions supply, extend tax and fee cut policies

Updated: Jan 19,2022 23:24    Xinhua

BEIJING — China will further strengthen the supply of coal, electricity, oil, gas and transportation services and provisions in the market, especially during the upcoming Spring Festival, to meet the needs of economic development and people's lives, according to a decision made at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Jan 19.

The meeting also decided to extend some expired tax and fee cut policies, to support enterprises in overcoming difficulties and sustaining development.

"For some time, the supply of coal, electricity, oil, gas and transportation services has overall remained stable, consumer prices have also been stable, and steady economic growth has held. This is no easy feat," Premier Li said. "It's important to better coordinate production, supply and sale, and ensure smoother circulation."

The inter-agency coordination mechanism for the supply of coal, electricity, oil, gas and transportation services must be better harnessed. The jurisdictional responsibility of sub-national governments and primary responsibility of enterprises in ensuring energy supply must be fully enforced. Normal production of coal will be maintained, and the transportation of coal for power generation and residential heating will be prioritized.

Coal-fired power plants will be guided toward full operation to the extent allowed. Power generation from new energy sources will be boosted through multiple channels. Trans-provincial and trans-regional power transmission routes will be better harnessed to balance electricity surplus and shortage.

Safe, full-capacity production of domestic oil and gas fields will be promoted and the supply of oil and gas will be kept stable. Greater efforts will be made to guarantee energy supply for winter heating in the resource-tight areas of northern region.

The system of city mayors assuming responsibility for the "vegetable basket" will be rigorously implemented. Vegetable farming will be expanded in ways that best suit local conditions, and the production of meat, eggs, dairy and aquatic products ensured. The policy of "green lane" services for the transportation of fresh farm produce will be strictly exercised.

Business enterprises, e-commerce platforms and retail outlets will be encouraged to operate as usual during the Spring Festival, to enrich market supply and boost consumption. Greater support and assistance will be given to disaster-stricken people and groups in difficulties.

Contingency plans will be made against bad weather, sudden flare-up of COVID infections and other uncertainties. Localities will be guided toward ensuring the smooth transportation on trunk lines, enhancing the provision of daily necessities, fine-tuning the management over areas under lockdown and leveraging the role of private actors and communities, while enforcing COVID response measures, to ensure that supplies can be smoothly delivered right to people's doorsteps.

Monitoring of market supply and demand will be stepped up, and food quality and safety supervision strengthened. Violations such as hoarding and price gouging will be dealt with pursuant to law.

Tax and fee cuts are a direct, effective and equitable policy benefiting enterprises. To help ease the difficulties businesses face and promote entrepreneurship and innovation, the meeting decided to extend another 11 preferential tax and fee policies involving technology, job creation, business startups, medical care, education and other sectors to the end of 2023, on top of previous extensions of the expired preferential policies.

"Extension of these expired tax and fee cut measures will deliver more widely shared benefits. Taxes and fees should be reduced as much as policies allow, to expand tax sources and nurture the tax base," Premier Li said.

Value-added tax will be exempted for the incubation services in technology firm incubators, university science and technology parks and makerspaces, and their real estate and land for one's own use or provided to the incubating objects will be exempted from real-estate tax and urban land use tax.

Conditions for certifying technology-based startups will be further relaxed, to allow more venture capital firms and individual angel investors to have their taxable income deducted in proportion to their investment in the startups. Real-estate tax and urban land use tax for wholesale markets of agricultural product will be waived.

Personal income tax will be exempted on the subsidies and bonuses for medical staff and COVID control workers, as well as on drugs and other COVID prevention supplies employers provide to their employees. Registration fees will be exempted on drugs and medical devices for COVID response.

Real-estate tax and urban land use tax will be exempted from the real estate and land of enterprises undertaking the policy-based business of commodity storage. A reduced corporate income tax rate of 15 percent will be applied to third-party enterprises engaged in pollution control.