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State Council pledges more fee reductions

By Zhang Yue | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-04 07:45
A panoramic sunrise view of the Bund along the Huangpu River in Puxi and the Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai's Pudong New Area on Aug 20, 2018. [PhotoIC]

Moves are part of ongoing efforts to ease business burdens, boost growth

China will take measures to reduce government fees and operating service charges in order to further reduce burdens on businesses and individuals, it was decided on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Starting from July 1, charges on real estate registrations will be cut or canceled outright. The eligibility for fee reductions on patent applications will be broadened.

Charges on exit and entry travel documents such as passports, registrations of some trademarks, and usage of various radio frequencies will be further reduced. Significant reductions in these charges are required, it was decided.

Ownership registration fees for properties such as parking spaces will be reduced from 550 yuan ($81.97) to 80 yuan. And fees for extended use of trademarks will be reduced from 1,000 yuan to 500 yuan.

Mandatory payments by air carriers to the Civil Aviation Development Fund will be halved. Charges for national cultural programs supported by centrally administrated enterprises and institutions will be cut in 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.

The State Council also decided to trim average electricity prices for general industrial and commercial businesses, lower prices for rail freight transport, cut or merge port charges, and cancel charges for the certification of citizens' personal ID information.

The measures identified at the meeting on Wednesday are the most recent moves for fee reductions 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 measures to tackle 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.

The premier added, "This will also boost our industrial development."

Participants at the meeting also worked out measures to reduce personal postal tax rates.

Starting from April 9, the tax rate for foods and medicine will be cut from 15 percent to 13 percent, and the tax rate on textiles and electrical appliances will be trimmed from 25 percent to 20 percent.

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