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Excerpts from State Council policy briefing on May 5

Updated: May 5,2017 8:19 PM

The State Council policy briefing on May 5 focused on awards to local governments that performed well last year. Senior officials from the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Land and Resources attended the conference.

According to Xi Yanchun, the host of the policy briefing, 26 provincial governments, 90 cities and 127 counties were rewarded with 24 incentives. The selected local governments have performed well in supply-side reform, promoting market demand and innovation, and improving people’s lives.

The incentives include investment, land quotas and supportive policies on reform, financing and development projects. Those that did well in the State Council inspections will be free from inspection next time.

The awards were led by the General Office of the State Council and joined by 18 State Council departments, Xi said.

National Development and Reform Commission

Secretary-General of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Li Piaomin said the commission has given out seven awards.

The commission has set aside 2 billion yuan to be shared among five provincial governments that maintained steady growth of fixed-asset investment and finished investment projects on time.

Easier access will be given in the next two years to enterprises applying for corporate bonds in the regions where governments did well on financial innovation and risk management. Ten regions will enjoy this award.

For the five provincial regions that successfully promoted innovation, the NDRC will issue subsidies for their innovation projects and innovation base building. The five regions are Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Hubei and Guangdong.

Startups and innovation have been rapidly growing in these regions as well as across the nation. In the first quarter of 2017, nearly 1.26 million new companies started with the added value of emerging and high-tech industries growing 10.3 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively. Until now, over 4200 Maker Spaces have been set up, serving more than 120,000 companies.

Preferential policies will be given to the regions that did well in promoting emerging industries and economic transformation to support building industrial parks and development projects.

Regions that did a good job in upgrading traditional industries, especially the old industrial bases, and developing new economies, will be supported to set up model industrial parks on industrial transformation.

Subsidies will be given to Shandong, Hubei, Sichuan and Guizhou provincial governments. They did a good job in relocating poor families living in regions with unsustainable conditions.

For example, Shandong provincial government has taken 50 measures concerning land, finance and public service to support the relocation, and introduced 25 special action plans and guidelines.

More investment will be injected into regions that did well in developing the elder care industry. In 2017, 120 million yuan from the central government budget will be invested in supporting elder care in these regions. More lottery funds will also be used.

Ministry of Finance

According to Xu Hongcai, assistant to Finance Minister, the ministry carried out five incentive measures to reward local governments that perform well in promoting supply-side reform, overcapacity reduction and finance management.

First, extra bonuses will be given to nine regions that cut overcapacity beyond the original target; second, financial rewards will be granted to 10 regions that show good performance in dealing with government budget and debt; third, rewards will be issued to 30 cities and counties that have done better in promoting public-private partnerships; fourth, financial support of employment assistance will be provided to five regions that performed better in boosting employment and entrepreneurship, and fifth, the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and Ministry of Finance jointly worked out special appraisal methods regarding poverty alleviation performance, and rewards will be issued to eight regions that have done a good job to reduce poverty.

As local governments’ financial management is significant to economic and social development, the Ministry of Finance set up financial performance appraisal methods, which focus on local governments’ management of budget enforcement, fiscal revenue, storage fund, national treasury, debt, budget publication, and financial fund utilization.

In light of such assessments, financial rewards will be granted to 10 cities and provincial regions, including Beijing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Shandong, Hubei, Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Xiamen, and Shenzhen, according to Xu.

Ministry of Land and Resources

Based on the annual plan, the Ministry of Land and Resources allocated some lands from its newly planned areas for construction to regions that showed great performance in major policy implementation.

According to Zhuang Shaoqin, head of Planning Division under the ministry, the move is to back up project construction, promoting stable economic growth, adjusting economic structure, improving people’s lives, and bolstering areas of weakness.

High level of land conservation will be rewarded with more land, and the State Council awarded 9.1 mu of land (60.7 km²) to 10 city-level administrative regions and 44 county-level administrative areas.

To implement the plan of land quota allocated to local governments, the Ministry of Land and Resources will give priority to basic infrastructure construction, projects that improve people’s lives, and agriculture.

In addition, the ministry will also enhance efforts to review local governments’ performance in plan implementation.