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Premier’s winning formula: subtracting fees and adding jobs

Updated: Mar 17,2017 1:08 PM Beijing News

At the closing news conference of China’s annual legislative session on March 15, Premier Li Keqiang said, “This year, greater efforts should be made in cutting taxes and fees, especially the numerous administrative fees that have imposed heavy burdens on enterprises.”

The Premier stressed that the central government should take the lead in cutting general spending by more than 5 percent, and pledged to reduce trillions of yuan in taxes and fees this year through measures such as reducing broadband and electricity fees, and cutting logistics costs.

“The government’s pain in cutting taxes and fees will be exchanged for lower burdens and enhanced competitiveness of enterprises,” said the Premier, calling for strengthened work on improving people’s lives in terms of poverty alleviation, shantytown renovation, compulsory education and basic medical care.

As for the government’s power, the Premier pledged at the meeting that China will continue to streamline approval procedures, administrative licensing, certificate qualifications and other affairs outside of the domain of governmental obligations.

The Premier promised at the press conference after the annual legislative session in 2013 that the Chinese government will cut the existing 1,700 administrative approval items by at least one-third in the coming five years.

To that end, China has made continuous efforts over the years in cutting bureaucracy, speeding up the transformation of government functions and providing more convenience for people.

Since 2013, the State Council has abolished 491 items that previously required administrative approval, and delegated 127 items of approval to lower levels.

In affirming the achievements in streamlining government administration, the Premier on March 15 called for further pushing forward the reform and greater focus on strengthening supervision and improving services for the people.

Besides the “subtraction” in taxes, fees and government power, the Premier also stressed an aspect of “addition” at the press conference on March 15: China plans to create more than 11 million urban jobs this year.

“Promoting employment is an important foundation for steady economic growth, and employment is the most important aspect of people’s livelihood,” said the Premier, stressing that employment will be the priority for this year’s government work.