An employee checks production machinery at a factory in Hefei, Anhui province, on Monday after some companies resumed production.(Photo by Zhao Ming/For China Daily)
Move part of measures to maintain economic stability, says government
The country's top industry regulator has unveiled new measures, including financial support, to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to resume production as early as possible.
The move is part of China's broader efforts to maintain economic stability and help companies weather temporary difficulties caused by the novel coronavirus epidemic.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in its latest notice that it will spare no efforts to help companies resume production after the Lunar New Year holiday. A string of 20 measures have been unveiled to support SMEs and help boost their innovation capabilities.
On the premise of ensuring employees' health, companies are encouraged to start normal operations. One of the top priorities is to implement favorable tax policies designed for crucial medical equipment makers, the ministry said.
The ministry also said it has encouraged local governments to roll out their own favorable fiscal policies to support SMEs. Also, more efforts will be made to help SMEs better apply for loans from banks and adopt cutting-edge technologies to advance digital transformation.
Song Xuanyi, an expert at the China Centre for Promotion of SME Development, said favorable tax and fiscal policies are crucial for boosting the confidence of SMEs in weathering the temporary difficulties.
Apart from helping lower production costs for companies, measures have also been promised for financial support to SMEs to sustain employment, Song said.
A number of Chinese companies have already resumed normal operations. Zhang Ying, deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, said on Monday that 80 percent of Shanghai manufacturing enterprises surveyed by the commission are willing to resume production.
Also, 80 percent of software enterprises in Shanghai have started normal operations, with 70 percent of them engaged in remote work from home, Zhang said.
In Shandong province, most medical supplies companies have also gone back to work, with some producing masks, protective suits and goggles.
As of Thursday, 32 mask makers in the province have been running at full capacity, data from the Department of Industry and Information Technology of Shandong province show. Also, about 1,268 enterprises in the province said they have restarted or are ready to immediately restart operations.
To maintain stability and promote healthy economic development amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, measures have already been taken to facilitate work resumption in different places in China.
Staff members have disinfected workshops and self-protection training has also been offered to prevent staff from being infected by the novel coronavirus in East and South China.
Song said all the above measures will lay down a relatively sound base to help enterprises to smoothly resume work.