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Ministries address concerns over Zika, insurance

Zhang Zhouxiang
Updated: Sep 13,2016 7:20 AM     China Daily

Ministries at the State Council, or China’s Cabinet, have responded to public and media concerns over a series of policies and measures they have adopted recently, such as tackling the Zika virus and the regulation of insurance services.

On Sept 7, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued a notice to remind the public of the possible risks in traveling to Singapore and several other countries and regions where Zika infections have been reported. By Sept 4, 242 people had been infected with the Zika virus in Singapore. Of these, 23 are tourists from the Chinese mainland and one from Taiwan. Zika infections have been reported in about 50 countries and regions, according to the administration.

It reminded those planning to travel to countries and regions where Zika infections are reported to take preventive measures against possible infection, especially by covering up and avoiding areas where mosquitoes might breed, especially areas with stagnant water. Pregnant women and couples planning to have babies in the near future are advised to avoid traveling there.

Those returning from the above-listed countries and regions should tell border authorities if they are suffering from fever or any related symptoms of mosquito bites and should see a doctor immediately.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission issued a guideline on life insurance products, which asked insurance companies to improve products to better suit market demand and prevent financial risks. The official in charge of this job at the CIRC answered journalists’ inquiries about the document, saying that they have been improving the regulatory framework for life insurance products and will hold answerable those who design illegal or sub-standard products.

The State Administration of Taxation published a document on the State Council’s official website to explain its tax deduction policy for R&D funds starting from this year. According to the new policy, since Jan 1, 2016, enterprises have been able to deduct labor costs and depreciation expenses, as well as amortization of intangible assets from the tax base. The procedures and financial records for this sum of money are also simplified.

The SAT also answered media inquiries about another move it has taken together with the State Administration of Industry & Commerce. The two administrations jointly issued a guideline, according to which application for business licenses for an enterprise will be combined with its tax registration form. With the new move, enterprises need submit only one set of documentation and go through one procedure, instead of two. Officials from the two administrations said that they introduced the new system to echo the top leadership’s call for simplifying administrative procedures for businesses and help boost the economy by making it convenient for them.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s top economic planner, said on Sept 9 that it had already required all subordinate departments to strengthen market regulatory measures during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays. Tourist spots that cheat by labeling their ticket prices ambiguously or force tourists to buy additional tickets to enter other areas within such sites.