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State Council responds to public issues

Wang Yiqing
Updated: Jul 5,2016 10:34 AM     China Daily

Departments and ministries under the State Council, China’s cabinet, have responded to a series of public concerns in the past week, including ones related to the reform of resource taxes, regulation of the public resource trading platform, construction of world-class universities and the replacement of the business tax with the value-added tax.

The Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation jointly held a news conference on June 30 to respond to concerns about resource tax reform. China collected 103.5 billion yuan ($15.6 billion) worth of resource taxes in 2015 and has carried out reform of resource taxes since July 1. The reform calls for resource tax to be levied according to price, regulates and cleans up charging items related to mineral resources, launches a pilot program for water resource tax and makes reasonable preferential tax policies. According to officials of the ministries, it shows China’s resolve to develop a green economy, with resource tax legislation to be put on the schedule after reform has been carried out.

The National Development and Reform Commission has responded to public concerns about an interim regulation for the public resource trading platform jointly issued by ministries and departments including the commission, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Ministry of Finance recently. According to the NDRC, the interim regulation will take effect from August 1. It is intended to promote the optimization of the public resource trading platform service by making the service procedure, service content, charging standard and supervision channels transparent to the public, improving the platform’s efficiency and establishing an evaluation mechanism.

The Ministry of Education has responded to the construction of world-class universities and establishment of world-class disciplines. It recently invalidated a batch of regulatory documents, which included the instructions to construct two projects known as 211 and 985. These were two major projects to build key universities that China has carried out since the end of last century. Project 211 and 985 will be incorporated into the construction of world-class universities and disciplines, with the new project to be launched this year.

Director of State Administration of Taxation Wang Jun announced at a tax system meeting on June 28 that the first declaration period for comprehensively replacing business taxes with value-added taxes has ended. In the next stage, the tax authority will comprehensively analyze the operation and effect of the change, in order to cope with any challenges in the future.

Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Xu Shaoshi responded to concerns about China’s macroeconomic situation at the Summer Davos Forum in Tianjin on June 26. Xu said in general China’s economy is stable and positive at present. China has confidence in its task of shedding excessive industrial capacity this year, new measures to reduce enterprises’ leverage ratio will be launched soon and Chinese enterprises are capable of coping with the risks of Brexit, he said.