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April 4, 2019

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China to ease corporate, individual burden

CHINA will take measures to reduce government-levied charges and operating service charges in order to further lessen the burden on businesses and individuals.

The personal postal articles tax rates will be lowered to expand imports and boost consumption, a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided yesterday.

Li pledged in this year’s government work report to take reform measures for lowered business-related charges. Electricity costs in manufacturing will be reduced, and the average electricity price for general industrial and commercial businesses will be cut by another 10 percent.

A number of railway and port charges will be abolished or reduced. The average broadband service rates for small and medium-sized enterprises will be cut by another 15 percent and the average rates for mobile Internet services by more than 20 percent.

It was decided at the meeting that from July 1, charges on real estate registration will be cut or canceled. The coverage of patent application and annual fee reductions will be expanded. Charges on exit and entry travel documents such as private passports, registration of certain trademarks, and radio frequency uses in electricity and the Internet of Vehicles will be further reduced. Significant reductions in these charges are required.

For example, the ownership registration fee for real estate such as garage and parking spots will be reduced from 550 yuan (US$82) to 80 yuan each. And the registration fee for continued use of trademarks will go down from 1,000 yuan to 500 yuan.

Payments to national major water conservancy construction fund and the civil aviation development fund will be halved. Charges for national cultural programs faced by centrally administered enterprises and institutions will be cut by half, effective until the end of 2024. It was also decided at the meeting to reduce mobile Internet service rates and lower broadband service rates for small and medium-sized enterprises by about 180 billion yuan in 2019, trim the average electricity price for general industrial and commercial businesses, lower prices for rail freight transport, cut or merge port charges, and revoke the charge for citizens’ ID information certification.

The measures identified at the meeting yesterday are the most recent moves for fee reduction, following the lowering of the social insurance contribution rate. Full delivery of these measures is expected to lighten the fee burden on companies and individuals by more than 300 billion yuan in 2019.

“Tax and fee cuts are our key measure to tackle the downward economic pressure this year. They are a major policy initiative. Cutting fees could serve multiple purposes. All government departments must do their best to effectively ease the burden on businesses and deliver real benefits to consumers,” Li said. “This will also boost our industrial development.”

Participants of the meeting also worked out measures for cutting the personal postal articles tax rates. From next Tuesday, the tax rate on food and medicine will be cut from 15 percent to 13 percent.


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