China will roll out more measures this year to lower overall business costs, according to officials with the nation’s top economic regulator.
Business costs are expected to be reduced by a total of 150 billion yuan ($23.9 billion) this year, with further measures coming up soon to reduce logistics, energy and electricity costs, according to Yue Xiuhu, head of the Pricing Supervision Department of the National Development and Reform Commission.
“Coupled with efforts from other regulatory bodies to further reduce administration charges imposed on enterprises, we are confident of reaching the target level for cost reduction set in the Government Work Report earlier this year,” said Yu.
He referred to the target to reduce the non-tax burden for market players by more than 300 billion yuan by the end of the year.
China has lightened the burden on businesses by reducing their costs by around 500 billion yuan over the past two years, and yet there is further room to help enterprises reduce costs, in particular electricity costs, according to Zhang Manying, a senior official with the commission.
China aims to further lower businesses’ electricity costs by 10 percent by the end this year, according to the Government Work Report.
Energy costs have been reduced by 327.5 billion yuan since 2015, as the government implemented power pricing reforms, said Zhang.
The government has issued guidelines to promote market-based mechanisms and remove official interference in price determination.
Prior government intervention over pricing has allowed State-owned power grid companies to reap unreasonably high profits while adding to the burden of power users.
Hangzhou Wahaha Group, the largest beverage producer in China, has largely benefited from the government’s policies to reduce tax and service fees, according to Zong Qinghou, the group’s founder and chairman.
An official with the department, who declined to be named, said there is an urgency to introduce more measures this year amid rising uncertainties of global economy and rising costs for production, the latter of which is posing greater challenges for China’s traditional heavy industries.