China to further ease firms' fee burden


(Photo: Xinhua)

BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua) -- China's State Council decided Wednesday to further ease the fee burden of firms in a bid to energize market entities.

More efforts will be made to eliminate illegal fee charging to ensure the effectiveness of policies cutting taxes and fees, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

The meeting decided to further strengthen the responsibilities of government at all levels, especially local governments, and has made it clear that it will conduct a comprehensive investigation into illegal fee charging.

It is strictly prohibited that government departments transfer the expenses they should bear to enterprises, and industry associations and public institutions shall not use their administrative power to charge fees illegally, according to a statement released after the meeting.

All the fees on market entities, with no exceptions, must be made public, transparent and subjected to supervision, the statement said.

Efforts in regulating fees on companies must be integrated with the reforms to streamline administration, delegate powers, and improve regulation and services.

The meeting also decided to intensify pilot regional financial reforms to enhance the role of finance in supporting reform, opening-up and economic development.

It urged employing multiple tools in a coordinated way as required by macro policy to effectively bring down real interest rates, support the development of small- and medium-sized banks, lower financing costs for businesses, especially for micro, small and private firms.

It is important to set clear objectives and take a coordinated approach in promoting innovation in regional financial reforms, and a working mechanism for regional financial reforms that allows dynamic adjustments should be established, according to the statement.