According to data from the Ministry of Finance, China’s general public budget revenue in 2016 grew 4.5 percent, which was 1.3 percent lower than in 2015 and the lowest growth rate since 1988.
One crucial factor for the deceleration was cutting institutional fees and business-related charges.
In 2016, 18 business fees were cut for all companies, which applied only to small and medium companies before. Seven government funds were cut or merged with other fees. It is estimated that nearly 27 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) were cut for companies due to these measures.
In addition, last year witnessed a reform in replacing the business tax with value-added tax, which, according to official data, saved businesses more than 500 billion yuan ($72.8 billion).
Authorities will cut more fees in 2017 through furthering tax and administrative reforms and rolling out new measures, said Minister of Finance Xiao Jie. The State Council executive meeting on Feb 8 decided to stop unreasonable fees by intermediary agencies that take advantage of their official title, and to reduce administrative discretion regarding fees on enterprises.
A list of fees will be set up, which means authorities cannot raise any money from companies outside the list.
Cutting fees and taxes will enhance companies’ confidence and stabilize market expectations, which will benefit the economy in the long term, Xinhua said.