China announces new tax cuts to support economy

File Reuters

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — China unveiled billions of dollars in taxes and fees as part of its efforts to boost the economy, adding to pledges worth $ 300 billion announced last month.

With growth slipping to near its lowest level in three decades and a US trade dispute looming over the economy and weak global prospects, leaders are seeking to boost economic momentum by motivating consumer armies to start spending.

The government said on Wednesday it would cut the cost of electricity, the Internet, port and rail charges and a set of duties on individuals and companies to cut its annual burden by 300 billion yen ($ 45 billion).

For companies, the government will cut electricity fees by 10 percent and cut broadband charges for small and medium-sized enterprises by 15 percent, according to the official New China News Agency.

Trademark registration fees will also be reduced, according to the Council of Ministers.

For people, China will abolish a range of bureaucratic procedures such as import duties, postal registration, real estate registration, passport issuance and mobile Internet prices.

“Tax cuts and fees are our main measures to counter the pressure on the economy this year,” Prime Minister Li Keqiang was quoted by the state news agency as saying.

The announcement comes after last month’s promises to cut corporate taxes and social security contributions by up to 2 trillion yuan ($ 298 billion), with the first tranche starting on April 1.

The meeting on Wednesday set out new draft amendments to strengthen the Foreign Investment Law, which was passed last month, with a clause on “non-discrimination” in administrative licenses as well as measures to strengthen trademark protection.

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