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State Council decides on division of responsibilities on key tasks in Government Work Report to facilitate stable economic performance

Updated: Mar 15,2022 06:55    Xinhua

BEIJING — All key tasks laid out in the Government Work Report must be effectively implemented with clear division of responsibilities and solid steps to facilitate stable economic performance while overcoming difficulties, according to a decision made at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on March 14.

The Government Work Report, adopted at the recently concluded the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), set out the main economic and social development goals and tasks and policy measures for the year. These must all be fulfilled with good quality, to deliver on the government's commitments to the people.

The 52 key tasks in 44 areas spelled out in the report were all assigned to relevant State Council departments and sub-national authorities. The respective responsibilities and time frames for fulfilling the tasks were clearly defined.

Noting the new downward pressure on economic activity and rising difficulties and challenges, the meeting stressed the need to coordinate COVID-19 response and economic and social development, intensify cross-cyclical adjustments, place steady growth in a more prominent position and deepen reform and opening-up, to accomplish the economic and social development goals and tasks for the year.

"The Government Work Report has been adopted by the NPC. It is a legally binding document that must be well implemented," Premier Li said. "We need to closely watch the latest developments at home and abroad. Right now downward pressure on the domestic economy remains substantial, with rising uncertainty in international landscape"

The meeting underlined the imperative to follow closely the changing geopolitical dynamics, major economies' macro policy adjustments, trajectories of commodity markets and their implications for China. Responsive measures need to be refined accordingly to keep such major indicators as economic growth, consumer prices and employment stable and within the appropriate range.

The meeting required earnest and thorough execution of the macro policies to keep the operations of market entities stable and maintain job security. Tax refunds and cuts are the central measures this year to maintain stable macro economic performance. A detailed implementation plan for value-added tax (VAT) credit refunds will be formulated and introduced as quickly as possible, to see that eligible VAT credits will be refunded sooner wherever possible, and refunds go to the business accounts within the set time frame.

Specific plans to extend, expand and intensify other tax and fee cut policies that support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and self-employed households will be swiftly explored. State-owned financial institutions and state monopolies will be urged to turn in their profits to the State in a timely manner pursuant to the law. Transfer payments to localities for tax and fee cuts must be directly channeled to prefecture- and county-level governments without delay, to provide primary-level governments with the fiscal resources to assist local businesses and residents.

Localities should act in light of the actual situation and adopt policies such as reducing or waiving rentals and lowering energy fees to help market entities, especially the industries in special difficulty. Financial institutions will be encouraged to roll out specific measures to make substantive progress in making financing truly accessible for MSMEs and cutting overall financing costs. Meanwhile, proactive efforts will be made to boost domestic demand, unlock consumption potential and increase effective investment. Stable supply of electricity and coal will be ensured.

"We must prioritize key measures and see that they are delivered on the ground. Tax refunds are a most critical measure. When money is channeled in a more targeted way, enterprises can benefit directly and promptly," Premier Li said.

The meeting required that reform in priority areas and key links will be advanced, reform of government functions deepened, and the initiative of mass entrepreneurship and innovation taken forward. Another series of concrete steps will be taken to facilitate entrepreneurship and innovation, business operation and people's access to government services. More government services will be made accessible inter-provincially and online.

Efforts to make ID cards electronic will be intensified, to help people get certain things done by a simple code-scanning on cell phones instead of bringing ID cards. Information security and individuals' privacy will be guaranteed at the same time. Market regulation will be strengthened to uphold fair competition.

Breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields will be stepped up. Policy incentives such as additional tax deduction for R&D expenses and tax breaks for basic research will be implemented well to promote scientific and technological innovation by enterprises. New developments in keeping foreign trade and investment stable will be closely watched. Policies that have been introduced must be effectively delivered to help tackle the real difficulties facing foreign trade and foreign-invested enterprises.

The government must make every effort and put heart into ensuring and improving people's livelihoods. The achievements in poverty eradication need to be consolidated and further expanded. Measures to ensure people's essential needs, such as betterment of compulsory education, basic medical care and basic housing, will be effectively implemented, and the basic living needs of people in difficulty will be guaranteed.

All localities and departments concerned must have a stronger sense of urgency, fulfill due responsibilities, take concrete measures, bring to bear all positive factors and carry out work in an innovative way. Accountability inspections will continue to be strictly enforced, to prevent and rectify inaction or arbitrary moves such as buck-passing, perfunctoriness, one-size-fits-all approaches, especially disregard for serious infringements on the lawful rights and interests of the people. This will help to ensure that work on all fronts produces concrete outcomes.

"Government departments and staff members must earnestly step up to their responsibilities and work proactively and diligently to deliver concrete results," Premier Li said.

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