Li calls for 'special focus' on spurring consumption to further promote growth
China will continue to effectively implement the policy package for stabilizing the economy, as well as follow-up policies, to further promote economic recovery and growth, according to a decision made at the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
The meeting noted that, since April, in order to cope with shocks from greater-than-expected factors, a policy package for stabilizing the economy and followup policies have been introduced in a timely and decisive manner.
The economic slide early in the second quarter was reversed in time and the economy is stabilizing and picking up, which creates a critical window of opportunity for boosting upward momentum, the meeting noted.
It was decided that efforts will ensure policy implementation, keep employment and prices stable, secure better economic performance in the fourth quarter compared with the third, and keep major economic indicators within a proper range.
The task forces that supervise and assist efforts to stabilize overall economic performance should continue to supervise and coordinate the resolution of problems.
Furthermore, market vitality and social creativity will be better unlocked.
It is imperative to continue advancing reform and opening-up, deepening the reform of government functions and fostering a better business environment, the meeting decided.
"Overall, the policy package for stabilizing the economy and the followup policies are forceful and are warmly welcomed by localities," Li said. "Mature projects should be taken forward without delay, and the approval procedures for projects that can get started within the year should be simplified wherever possible."
The meeting noted the need to expedite delivery of policies for spurring investment and consumption.
Efforts will be made to promote the recovery of consumption as the main driving force for the economy. Policies will be implemented to support consumption of big-ticket items such as automobiles and consumer services, and city-specific policies will be adopted to meet people's basic housing needs.
"The policy-backed and development-oriented financial instruments and the special re-lending facility for equipment upgrading and renovation function as two important levers. We must continue to bring them into effect, with a special focus on boosting consumption," Li said.
The meeting noted that the average time for refunding newly added value-added tax credits in the manufacturing industries has been cut to two working days.
"The large-scale VAT credit refund has played a vital role in helping firms overcome difficulties and steadying the economy," Li said. "This policy treats State-owned, private and foreign market entities as equals, and has been a widely welcomed boon to the cash flow of businesses."