SCIO briefing on efforts to coordinate COVID-19 control with economic, social development

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on Monday morning in Beijing to introduce the efforts being made by various government departments to coordinate the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic with continued economic and social development. February 25, 2020

Economic Daily:

Now, we are paying more attention to stable economic development. What effective measures have been put in place by the financial departments to stabilize the economy? What further steps will be taken in implementing a proactive fiscal policy? Thank you.

Ou Wenhan:

Thank you for your question. The COVID-19 is not only threatening people's lives and health, but also impacting the economy. The financial and fiscal department are earnestly implementing the decisions made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. While ensuring capital and material supplies, we seek to leverage the role of fiscal policies in a targeted manner to counter economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

First, we have provided preferential tax policies for hard-hit industries, including the transportation, catering, accommodation and tourism sectors. We have adjusted the corporate income tax policy to provide timely support for industries closely related to people's livelihood, such as public transportation and express delivery. Measures for exempting value-added tax have been introduced to reduce the burden in a targeted manner and help the enterprises overcome difficulties.

Second, we have introduced general fee reduction policies. Working with relevant departments, we have introduced policies such as a phased reduction of social insurance as well as medical insurance, and deferring payment of housing provident funds, which benefit a large number of people. On top of last year's policy of cutting social insurance rate, these policies will help offset the impact of the epidemic on business.

Third, we have intensified support to help enterprises maintain steady employment. We have been working with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and other departments to support the business to keep more people on their payroll, by returning the unemployment insurance premium and providing vocational training subsidies. At the same time, for SMEs and individuals affected by the epidemic, we have introduced special policies to reduce their financing guarantee fees in order to address their difficulties in financing. These policy measures will play an important role in building up social expectations and boosting corporate confidence. With resumption of work and production, policies will further take effect.

Next, we will continue to earnestly implement General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions at the meeting to advance the work on coordinating the prevention and control of the COVID-19 and economic and social development. We will strengthen the counter-cyclical adjustment of macroeconomic policies. Fiscal policies will be more proactive to ensure that the decisions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council are put in place.

On the one hand, we will promote the implementation of relevant policies that have already been introduced, such as fiscally subsidized interest rates, fees reduction on a large scale, and deferring tax payments, so as to ensure these polices can produce desirable results as soon as possible. On the other hand, we will take more proactive approaches and intensify policy efforts to ensure the economy can continue to perform within an appropriate range, and prevent the short-term impact from evolving into a long-term trend.

First, we will continue to study and introduce more targeted interim policies in cutting taxes and fees, focus on resumption of work and production in key industries, and help micro, small and medium-sized firms tide over any short-term difficulties. Second, we will utilize the available funds of some departments of the central government for the epidemic prevention and control work, with a focus on ensuring funding for priority areas such as poverty alleviation and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Third, we will increase transfer payments. We intend to allocate more to severely affected areas to guarantee salary payments, business operations and protection of people's basic livelihood. Fourth, we will expand the issuance of special bonds by local governments. In line with the principle of "capital follows projects," we will guide them to work for establishment of project reserves and preliminary preparations, so as to make effective investment as soon as possible.

Through systematic planning, targeted policies and pragmatic implementation, we will be able to prevent and control the epidemic while advancing economic and social development. As long as we are able to unleash the great potential and powerful driving forces of development, we will surely achieve this year's economic and social development targets, and secure alleviating poverty and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Thank you.

<  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  >  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share