Red tape to be reduced in boost for business
The State Council executive meeting decided to introduce more policies to improve the business environment, with measures adopted to cut the red tape businesses face when opening bank accounts and reduce the time required for the granting of patents and registration of trademarks on Dec 24.
A statement released after the meeting, which was chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, said China will continue with reforms to streamline administration, step up compliance oversight and improve services as part of efforts to stimulate market vitality and social creativity.
By the end of this year, following a pilot program in some areas, businesses will no longer need approval to open bank accounts, the statement said. Instead, they will only need to file records before applying to open basic bank deposit accounts.
Banks are urged to take greater responsibility for account management and step up sharing of information with government departments to step up compliance oversight, the statement said.
The meeting also called for improved efficiency in registration of intellectual property rights, with more efforts set to be made to encourage online applications through reduced charges and a reduction in the amount of supporting material required.
The time required for registration of trademarks will be reduced to five months this year, down from six months at the end of last year according to the National Intellectual Property Administration, and the time required for the granting of high-value patents will be reduced by 15 percent, the statement said.
The government will also further promote the nationwide implementation of the random inspection method, in which law enforcement targets and enforcement officers are randomly selected and inspection results are made public, to improve the efficiency of oversight and to avoid arbitrary inspections causing disruptions to business operations, the statement said.
Tax and fee cuts to aid private enterprises
Intensified support for the development of the private sector and small and medium-sized enterprises was pledged at the State Council executive meeting on Dec 24.
The views of businesses must be heeded in deciding business-related policies, and reasonable transition periods should be arranged, a statement released after the meeting said. Businesses of all sizes and all types of ownership will be treated as equals in tendering, land use and other respects under the principle of competitive neutrality.
Unless otherwise stipulated, all restrictions on the minimum registered capital and the equity structure of private firms will be removed when the firms in question invest in resource development, transportation and public utilities, the statement said.
In order to support stronger innovation capacity, catalogs of recommended products and services will be issued to help high-tech SMEs gain better access to the market. Private firms will also be supported in participating in the research and development of core technologies and the formulation of national standards, it said.
The lawful rights and interests of private entrepreneurs, including their safety and property, will be protected in accordance with the law, the statement said, adding that no government department, public institution or State-owned enterprise should defer contractual payments owed to private businesses.