Market access measures to boost consumption
The State Council has unveiled a plan to unleash the potential of consumption with measures to further widen market access to several service sectors.
The plan, released by the State Council General Office on Oct 11, maps out ways to remove barriers hindering consumption and further refine the policy system to promote the structural upgrading of consumption.
Market access for sectors such as tourism, culture, sports, health, eldercare and education will be widened to encourage public consumption, it said.
Business restrictions on tourism agencies established through joint ventures will be relaxed, and a development plan for yacht tourism will be rolled out, according to the plan.
The policy system will also be improved to boost development of the home rental market, promote the upgrading of vehicle consumption and spur green consumption.
The consumption on information technology will also receive greater support, with more policies set to be rolled out to support the consumption upgrading of wearable devices, drones and smart service robots, the plan said.
The development of traditional trade and business models will be encouraged, and eligible cities will receive support to develop a number of high-end pedestrian streets in line with international standards.
The government will work to build influential Chinese brands in key industries, the plan said, adding that efforts will be made to create a better credit system and further reform income tax and income distribution.
Action plan to shift bulk cargo from roads to rail, waterways
China aims to significantly increase the proportion of railway and waterway freight in its transportation structure, according to an action plan released by the State Council General Office on Oct 9.
The country will further supply-side structural reform in the transport sector and prioritize efforts to switch the transportation of bulk cargo from roads to railways and waterways in the next three years.
In 2020, the railway freight volume will increase by 1.1 billion metric tons from that of 2017, while the waterway freight volume will rise by 500 million tons, the plan said. Meanwhile, the highway freight volume in coastal ports will drop by 440 million tons from that of last year.
The program will be mainly implemented in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas, the Yangtze River Delta region, and the plains of Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. These regions are key to China’s battle against air pollution.
To reach the goals set in the plan, China is expected to increase railway capacity, upgrade its water transportation system and better regulate highway freight transport.
The country will also encourage greater synergies between transportation models, especially road and rail transportation, as well as promote the use of new energy transport vehicles.
Cabinet vows to work toward report’s shantytown goals
China will further promote the renovation of shantytown areas to ensure it reaches the goals set in this year’s Government Work Report, the State Council decided at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Oct 8.
Between January and September, reconstruction work started on 5.34 million housing units in shantytowns, more than 92 percent of the annual target, according to a statement released after the meeting. The central government has helped more than 100 million people move out of shantytowns into new homes in recent years.
The government will work to ensure implementation of the three-year plan for shantytown renovation, as set in the Government Work Report, and has urged local authorities to quicken the pace of work while guaranteeing project quality.
The drive to offer monetized resettlement packages to shantytown residents will be canceled in cities and counties facing shortages in housing stocks or high pressure from home price hikes, according to the statement.
Local authorities have also been urged to evaluate their financial capacities and set tasks for next year’s renovation, it said.