Workers man an assembly line at an auto factory in Qingzhou, Shandong, last month. (WANG JILIN/FOR CHINA DAILY)
Problems identified in inspections ‘should be promptly addressed’
At the State Council executive meeting on Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang heard a report on special inspections to ensure stability in economic growth, the operation of market entities and employment. He urged greater efforts to remove barriers, improve supportive measures and ensure the greater effectiveness of policies.
The meeting noted the recent special inspections carried out by task forces sent by the State Council to 12 provinces regarding work to maintain steady growth, support market entities and ensure stable employment.
The inspections identified problems in some areas, such as the insufficient and imprecise implementation of policies, a “one-size-fits-all” approach to work, and the imposition of arbitrary charges and fines.
“The problems identified in the inspections should be promptly addressed, with experience gained in the process to forestall similar occurrences. All localities need to effectively coordinate COVID-19 response with economic and social development, and return economic activity back to normal as quickly as possible,” Li said.
The meeting noted the continuing acute downward pressure facing the economy, and the need to effectively coordinate COVID-19 response with economic and social development, in order to achieve reasonable growth in the second quarter and ensure overall economic performance remains stable.
Localities are urged to swiftly address the problems identified in the inspections.
The State Council will carry out inspections in provincial-level regions that were not covered by this round of special inspections during its annual accountability inspections.
Policy support will be intensified, with a special focus on keeping the operation of market entities and payrolls stable and maintaining steady job creation. All summer grain must be harvested into granaries, summer plowing taken forward smoothly and the supply of coal for the power industry must be kept stable, in order to underpin price stability. In addition, efforts will be made to further smooth transport and logistics.
“To keep major economic indicators within an appropriate range this year, we need to stabilize grain output and farmers’ incomes to secure price stability. We need to maintain the stable operation of market entities to ensure stable employment. All of this requires concerted efforts from all sides,” Li said.
The meeting also decided on policy steps to ensure the stable performance of foreign trade and investment and advance opening-up at a higher level.
Working mechanisms for stabilizing foreign trade and investment and ensuring smooth logistics at all levels must be fully utilized, to provide timely, coordinated solutions facing foreign trade and foreign-invested enterprises in the resumption of full-capacity production and project construction.
A policy to process export tax rebates within three working days will be implemented on a time-limited basis for enterprises with a good export tax rebate credit rating. The temporary reduction or exemption of port-related charges will be explored.
The catalogue of encouraged manufacturing industries for foreign investment in central and western regions will be expanded. The role of task forces in serving foreign-invested enterprises will be harnessed, and the mechanism for regular exchanges with foreign-invested enterprises will be improved.
“Opening-up is China’s basic national policy. Stable foreign trade and investment are critical to overall economic performance and employment. The Chinese economy is now deeply integrated into the world. All the measures to ensure stable foreign trade and investment must hit the ground running without delay,” Li said.