A technician at a steel production line of Magang Group, which is part of China Baowu Steel Group, in Ma'anshan, Anhui province. (LUO JISHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY)
Further efforts needed to ensure measures introduced are delivered on the ground
China will take solid steps to ensure full and effective implementation of the policy package for stabilizing the economy and its follow-up measures to consolidate the foundation of economic recovery and growth, according to decisions made at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday.
"The economic situation is complicated this year. Shocks from COVID-19 and other factors turn out to be greater than expected," Li said.
"Competent departments have taken robust steps to implement the policy package for stabilizing the economy and the follow-up measures. Progress has been made in advancing the construction of major projects as well as equipment upgrading and renovation. Meanwhile, different local governments face different circumstances and some measures introduced are yet to be delivered on the ground due to various reasons. Further efforts must be made to ensure full implementation."
The meeting urged expediting the construction of key projects. To date, financial instruments introduced in two groups have provided support to 2,700-plus major projects, and nearly 90 percent of the projects have been launched.
The coordination mechanism for major projects must continue to run efficiently, to push for earlier fund allocation and faster construction, and catalyze more investment from the private sector including private firms.
Local governments failing to deliver on their commitments on time will be called out. Projects unable to be launched as scheduled due to real difficulties will be adjusted.
The meeting called for accelerating equipment upgrading and renovation. As the signing of loan contracts of such projects has been basically completed, the focus will be turned to the issuance of special relending facilities and government-funded interest subsidies, and the recipients will be urged to step up equipment purchases and renovation.
"We must stay focused on our priorities, establish the reasons why the launching of projects in some places is sluggish, and take targeted measures," Li said.
City-specific policies will be adopted to meet people's basic housing needs and their wish to improve housing conditions. A special lending facility to ensure the delivery of pre-sold houses will be channeled to specific projects as quickly as possible. Commercial banks will be incentivized to issue new loans for the delivery of pre-sold houses.
Project construction and delivery will be advanced at a faster pace, and efforts will be made to improve the debt-to-asset ratio of the real estate sector, in order to boost the healthy development of the housing market.
The meeting also stressed that sustained efforts will be made to ensure smooth transportation and logistics. "We must do everything possible to keep transportation and logistics unimpeded," Li said. These efforts will help keep industrial and supply chains stable and keep foreign trade smooth.
Banks will be guided to offer concessional rates as appropriate regarding the existing inclusive loans made to micro and small businesses. Intensified support will be given to private enterprises in issuing bonds. Monetary policy tools such as required reserve ratio cuts could be used when needed and as appropriate to keep liquidity reasonably ample.