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Work division laid out for implementing Government Work Report

Updated: Apr 12,2018 7:45 PM

The work division among China’s ministerial departments has been projected for carrying out the Government Work Report this year, according to a State Council circular on April 12.

A total of 57 specific tasks in 12 aspects are distributed to main ministries and departments in line with their functions, including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

The document set the general target for economic growth in 2018, with GDP increasing 6.5 percent, consumer price index (CPI) rising 3 percent, newly added employment in urban areas reaching more than 11 million, surveyed urban unemployment rate within 5.5 percent and urban registered unemployment rate within 4.5 percent.

Fiscal policies should stay positive, said the circular. A deficit rate of 2.6 percent is set aside, lowered 0.4 percentage points from last year’s budget. Fiscal deficit should be 2.38 trillion yuan with the central government’s fiscal deficit at 1.55 trillion yuan and local fiscal deficit 8.3 trillion yuan. In addition, the monetary policy should remain prudent and neutral.

To push forward supply-side structural reform, new driving forces such as big data and artificial intelligence should get a boost, as well as high-end industries including 5G and new energy cars, to forge a manufacturing power, said the document.

Overcapacity should be further cut, by weeding out 30 million tons of steel and 150 million tons of coal.

Nationwide administrative reform should be widely promoted, and more taxes should be reduced to relieve burdens on enterprises.

In order to build innovative power, a national innovation system should be established to spur scientists and technicians’ creativity, and to promote mass entrepreneurship and mass innovation as well.

Reforms in key areas still need to be increased, said the circular, especially for State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private enterprises, fiscal and tax system, financial system, and ecological civilization.

The Government Work Report also proposed three key fights to win in 2018: To guard against major risks, reduce poverty, and make greater progress in pollution control. It set the target of over 10 million people in rural areas to be moved out of poverty, and sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide emission to be cut by 3 percent.

Concerning fully implementing the rural area revitalization strategy, the document called for improving the urban-rural integrated development mechanism and promoting supply-side structural reform in agriculture. High-quality farmland should be increased to over 80 million mu, and high-efficiency water-saving irrigation should cover over 20 million mu.

The quality of new-type urbanization should be increased. In 2018, 13 million more people should be settled in cities with urban hukou, according to the circular.

The growth of foreign investment should be promoted steadily, and the open range and level will be further expanded. The general manufacturing industry should be fully unlocked; openness of fields such as telecommunications, medical care, education, elderly care, and new energy vehicles should be expanded. Experiences in free-trade pilot zones should be replicated and promoted, said the document.

Efforts should also be made to improve people’s lives and promote entrepreneurship and innovation, with a focus on the employment of university graduates, disabled people, and migrant workers.

People’s income should be steadily promoted, the document stressed. Basic pension of retired people, and urban and rural residents should be continuously increased. The minimum payment standard should be adjusted appropriately, and the tax threshold for individual income should be higher.

A new three-year plan for shantytown renovation should begin, with the goal of 5.8 million units in 2018. Public rental housing should cover a wider range of people.

The circular also urged improving government efficiency in an all-around way, including optimizing government institutions and functions, and increasing the government’s credibility and executive capacity.

Ministries and departments should make specific plans to promote the assigned duties, and report to the State Council before April 20, the document said.