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Vice-premier urges solid efforts to propel supply-side reform

Updated: Sep 9,2016 8:45 PM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli speaks during a meeting with the country’s senior officials on supply-side reform, in Beijing, capital of China, Sept 9, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli on Sept 9 called for solid supply-side reform efforts in a bid to adapt to the current economic climate, known as the “new normal”.

The reform is a “major innovation” to meet new changes following the global financial crisis and an “inevitable choice” of China to fit into new economic circumstance that feature slower but higher quality growth, Zhang said during a meeting with the country’s senior officials.

Given a prolonged slowdown and entrenched economic problems, China’s policymakers are counting on structural reform to inject vitality into the economy.

Zhang described the reform as a “significant and urgent” matter.

He stressed five major tasks of the reform: cutting excess industrial capacity, reducing housing inventory, lowering corporate leverage, relieving corporate burdens and fixing economic weaknesses.

Overcapacity reduction in bloated steel and coal industries should be highlighted, Zhang said, adding that governments should make proper arrangements for laid-off workers and handling corporate debt.

Zhang said different policies should be taken to resolve excessive housing stock in a variety of areas. Helping 100 million rural residents to integrate in cities will be part of the efforts, as will the renovation of dilapidated residences. Affordable housing should also be improved.

To lower corporate leverage, authorities will encourage mergers and acquisitions, help companies liquidize remnant assets and promote equity financing, Zhang said.

China will also reduce corporate burdens in several areas, including tax, financing, labor, land use and logistics, as well as introduce significant spending on weak economic links, such as poverty relief, agriculture, new industries and infrastructure, Zhang said.