Full Text: Report on the Work of the Government(6)

2016-03-18 08:34Xinhua Editor: Gu Liping

By working to achieve all of these, we should get off to a good start in economic and social development during the period covered by the 13th Five-Year Plan.

The main development targets for 2016 are as follows:

-- GDP growth of 6.5% to 7%;

-- CPI increase kept at around 3%;

-- creation of at least ten million new urban jobs;

-- registered urban unemployment rate kept within 4.5%;

-- a steady rise in import and export volumes;

-- a basic balance in international payments;

-- increases in personal income basically in step with economic growth;

-- a reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP of at least 3.4%;

-- further reductions in the release of major pollutants.

In setting a projected growth rate of between 6.5% and 7%, we have taken into consideration the need to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the need to advance structural reform. It will also help guide market expectations and keep them stable. The aim of maintaining stable growth is primarily to ensure employment and promote the people's wellbeing, and a growth rate of between 6.5% and 7% will allow for relatively full employment.

A comprehensive analysis of all factors shows that China will face more and tougher problems and challenges in its development this year, so we must be fully prepared to fight a difficult battle.

Internationally, the global economy is experiencing profound changes and struggling to recover; growth in trade is weak; there are fluctuations in the financial and commodity markets; geopolitical risks are rising; and there are increasing instabilities and uncertainties in China's external environment. We should not underestimate the impact all of this will have on China's development.

Domestically, problems and risks that have been building up over the years are becoming more evident; the change of pace in economic growth, the difficulties associated with structural adjustments, and the transformation of the drivers of growth present interwoven problems; and downward pressure on the economy is growing.

But we will not be daunted by these problems and challenges. China has from the start been developing while responding to challenges; there is no difficulty we cannot get beyond. Thanks to years of rapid development, China has laid a solid material foundation, and its economy is hugely resilient and has enormous potential and ample room for growth. At the same time, reform and opening up has been injecting new impetus into economic growth, and a wealth of experience has been gained in developing new ways of conducting macro regulation. In addition, we have the guidance of the CPC and the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and our people are talented and hardworking. As long as we work together as one to surmount all difficulties, we will definitely achieve the targets for economic and social development in 2016.

This year, we will carry out the following eight tasks:

1. Improve and keep stable our macroeconomic policies to ensure that the economy performs within an appropriate range

At present, we still have new instruments for macro regulation and a good reserve of policies at our disposal. On the one hand, we will focus on current realities and take targeted steps to withstand the downward pressure on the economy. On the other hand, we must have our long-term development goals in mind, keep some policy tools as options for later use, strategize our moves, and gather strength. We will continue to implement proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, develop new approaches to macro regulation, strengthen range-based, targeted, and well-timed regulation, use fiscal and monetary policies and industry, investment, and pricing policy tools in a coordinated way, and implement structural reform, particularly supply-side structural reform, so as to create an enabling environment for economic development.

-- We will pursue a more proactive fiscal policy.

The government deficit for 2016 is projected to be 2.18 trillion yuan, an increase of 560 billion yuan over last year, meaning the deficit-to-GDP ratio will rise to 3%. Of the deficit, 1.4 trillion yuan will be carried by the central government, and the remaining 780 billion yuan will be carried by local governments. Special bonds for local governments will total 400 billion yuan, and local government debt-converting bonds will continue to be issued. China's deficit-to-GDP ratio and government debt ratio are lower than those of other major economies; such steps are necessary, feasible, and also safe.

The moderate increase in government deficit is projected primarily to cover tax and fee reductions for enterprises, a step that will further reduce their burdens.

The following three measures will be adopted this year.

First, business tax will be replaced with VAT in all sectors. Starting from May 1st, the scope of work to pilot this measure will be extended to the construction, real estate, financial, and consumer service industries, and VAT deductions will cover all new immovable property of enterprises to ensure that the tax burdens on all industries are reduced.

Second, government-managed funds set up without authorization will be abolished; the collection of contributions to certain government-managed funds will be suspended, and some of these funds will be consolidated; and more enterprises will be exempted from contributing to water conservancy construction funds and other government-managed funds.


* To make comprehensive moves to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, deepen reform, advance the law-based governance of China, and strengthen Party self-conduct.

Third, exemptions from 18 administrative charges which currently apply only to small and micro businesses will be expanded to include all enterprises and individuals.

Through the above policies, the burdens on enterprises and individuals will be cut by more than 500 billion yuan this year. At the same time, we will increase government expenditures and investment as appropriate to work on living standards and other areas in need of strengthening. We will develop new ways for government funds to be spent and improve the government spending mix to ensure that all essential items receive sufficient funding, while non-essential items are cut.

Fiscal and tax reforms will be stepped up. We will move forward with the reform of the way powers and expenditure responsibilities are shared between the central and local governments, ensuring that the proportion of VAT revenue received by the central and local governments is determined appropriately. Taxes suitable as sources of local government revenue will be handed over to local governments along with the corresponding administrative powers. Central government special transfer payments to local governments will be further reduced, while this year's general transfer payments will be increased by 12.2%. We will extend ad valorem rates to all resource taxes. We will promote the law-based administration of tax collection. We will establish a well-regulated mechanism for local governments to secure financing through bond issuance and make moderate upward adjustments to debt ceilings for local governments with strong financial resources and low debt risks through statutory procedures. Governments at all levels must tighten their belts and spend every sum of money where it can be seen and where it's most needed.

-- We will pursue prudent monetary policy that is flexible and appropriate.

Both the M2 money supply and aggregate financing in the economy are forecasted to grow by around 13% in 2016. We will use a full range of monetary policy tools including open market operations, interest rates, required reserve ratios, and re-lending to maintain sufficient liquidity at a proper level, improve the transmission mechanism of monetary policy, and reduce financing costs. We will provide more support for the real economy, particularly for small and micro businesses as well as agriculture, rural areas, and farmers.

We will deepen reform of the financial sector. We will move faster in the reform to improve the modern financial regulatory system and ensure that the financial sector serves the real economy more efficiently and that regulation covers all financial risks. Interest rates will be further liberalized. Improvements will be made to the market-based mechanism for setting the RMB exchange rate to ensure it remains generally stable at an appropriate and balanced level. We will deepen reform of state-owned commercial banks as well as development and policy-backed financial institutions, develop private banks, and launch trials to allow commercial banks to participate in combined debt-equity investments into startups and small businesses. We will move forward with the reform of stock and bond markets and increase the level of rule of law in their development, promote the sound development of the multilevel capital market, and ensure that the proportion of direct financing is increased. The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect will be launched at an appropriate time. A catastrophe insurance system will be established. We will work to see that Internet finance develops in line with regulations, and we will make a major push to develop inclusive and green finance. We will strengthen unified, macroprudential management of foreign debt. We will tighten institutional constraints, safeguard order in the financial sector, crack down on financial fraud, illegal fundraising, and unlawful and criminal activities in the securities and futures markets, and make sure that no systemic or regional financial risks arise.


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