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Govt policy moves in the past week (Aug 13-20)

Updated: Aug 21,2017 9:44 AM

Pressing ahead with value-added tax reform

China will continue to refine the value-added tax (VAT) reform pilot program to enable further economic transformation and upgrading, according to a decision made on Aug 18 at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

It was also decided at the meeting that the government will push forward with legislation on VAT, fine tune VAT arrangements for maximum results and secure progress with laws and regulations.

More training will be offered to familiarize taxpayers with new tax policies to realize the reform’s full benefits.

Authorities will work on simplifying taxation procedures for greater efficiency and convenience for taxpayers, and promoting the application of electronic invoices.

Details: >> China to press ahead with value-added tax reform

Regulation on building construction by government agencies and organizations

At the State Council executive meeting on Aug 18, a draft regulation was passed introducing strict restrictions on constructing and purchasing office buildings by government agencies and public organizations funded by government subsidies.

Construction of training centers and various reception venues or facilities is banned.

Information about the construction projects should be made available to the public. Any violation of the regulation must be stopped and corrected, and people responsible punished.

Guideline on overseas investment

The State Council has released a guideline to promote healthy growth of overseas investment and prevent risks.

According to the guideline, China will support eligible domestic enterprises to make overseas investment and join in the construction of projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Projects on the restricted list include real estate, hotels, entertainment, sport clubs, outdated industries and projects in countries with no diplomatic relations with China, chaotic regions and nations that should be limited by bilateral and multilateral treaties concluded by China.

In addition, the guideline prohibits domestic enterprises being involved in overseas investment that may jeopardize China’s national interests and security, including output of unauthorized core military technology and products, gambling, pornography and other prohibited technology and products.

Details: State Council issues guideline on overseas investment

Guideline to support logistics industry

The State Council released a guideline on Aug 17 to further reduce costs and improve efficiency in the logistics industry in a bid to drive development of the real economy in China.

According to the guideline, measures should be taken to encourage logistics operators, including optimizing the management of road transport, regulating law enforcement of highway freight and improving the assessment of freight transport licenses and permits and the inspection mechanism for logistics vehicles.

The tax burden on logistics enterprises should be reduced. The guideline requires improvements to taxation policies and a reasonable determination on fees for logistic vehicles to be made. It also suggests introducing value-added tax reform of highway tolls this year and regulating illegal charges.

Details:>> China to further support logistics industry

Promote foreign investment

The State Council made public a series of measures on Aug 16 designed to ensure the steady growth of foreign investment.

China should make its foreign investment environment “more law-based, internationalized and convenient” to promote growth and raise the quality of foreign investment, according to a document from the State Council.

“The country should continue to reduce market access restrictions for foreign capital,” the document stated.

A list of projects banned from foreign investment that has been tested in pilot free-trade zones will be rolled out as soon as possible.

China will expand market access to allow foreign capital to enter sectors including new-energy vehicle manufacturing, ship design, aircraft maintenance and railway passenger transportation, the document said.

Details: >> China to promote foreign investment growth

Three-year plan for manufacturing innovation

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued a three-year plan to build “innovation and entrepreneurship” platforms in manufacturing enterprises.

It plans to launch 100 pilot projects by 2020. Online “innovation and entrepreneurship” platforms should be introduced in 85 percent of key enterprises.

The platforms should be created to integrate various economic factors, promote cooperation between big and small companies and innovate the research, production and management patterns.

Crack down on pyramid selling schemes

A circular has been issued jointly by four government departments to crack down on pyramid selling schemes, especially those operating under the guise of job recruitment and entrepreneurship.

Special checks should be conducted on key recruitment platforms.

Ensure implementation of tax preference for enterprises’ R&D expenses

The Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation have jointly issued a circular to ensure the tax preference for enterprises’ R&D expenses is implemented.

According to the circular, authorities are not allowed to charge for the official authentication of R&D projects. It also encourages regional governments to build online service platforms so that enterprises can apply for the tax preference more conveniently at less cost.

Promote healthy development of small loans

A circular was released jointly by five government departments to promote the healthy development of small loans which are provided to poor families in the countryside.

Stricter investigations should be conducted into loan applicants with the credit and loan repayment ability the main factors for examination. The issuing of the loans should abide by law and credit management regulations.

The use of funds should be clarified in the loan contract.

Dedicated license plate for new energy vehicles

New energy vehicles in cities across China will be issued special license plates by the first half of 2018, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The cost of a dedicated plate will be the same as the normal one which is 100 yuan ($15).