China will refine the coordination mechanisms for stable performance in six key areas, namely, stability in employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and market expectations, to promote both effective outbreak response and steady economic and social progress.
The decisions were made at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang Tuesday.
"The coordination mechanisms for stable performance in the six key areas have, since their launch, played an important role in forging inter-agency synergy to keep major economic indicators within the proper range. This year we may face even greater challenges, hence there is a higher need to refine these mechanisms to make our work across the six areas better targeted," Li said.
The meeting underlined the need to advance epidemic control and economic and social development in parallel. It urged targeted steps in ensuring stability in the six key areas to more effectively manage the impact of the outbreak on the economy.
Inter-agency coordination on macroeconomic policies, foreign trade and investment, and financial stability must be fully leveraged to formulate strong and effective response measures to boost the internal dynamism of the economy and keep major economic indicators within the proper range for the whole year.
"The most pressing task now is to manage the impacts of the epidemic. Maintaining stability in the six key areas will help keep capital flowing and the industrial chain running, and contribute to an economic performance within the proper range," Li said.
The meeting also adopted a host of policies for facilitating the restart of business activities in the logistics sector from transportation, shipment to express delivery services to provide a strong underpinning for epidemic control, help smooth the flow of economic activity, and meet people's daily needs.
The meeting called for following the region-specific, tiered and targeted approach to encourage businesses to resume operation in an orderly way. Any arbitrary requirements on the resumption of work must be lifted. Face masks and other needed protective gear should be made available through coordination. Sub-national authorities are required to provide equal convenience for both postal and courier services providers under all types of ownership.
"A major obstacle in current outbreak response and production resumption lies in logistics. Undue restrictions should be removed as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the operation of both industrial and supply chains will be hampered," Li said.
Further tax and fee cuts will be made to logistics-related services. Insurance companies will be encouraged to lower or exempt premiums for commercial vehicles, ships and aircraft whose operations are suspended during the outbreak, by way of extension of insurance period and deduction of policy renewal fees.
For toll-road operators encountering difficulty in repaying their financial debts as a result of the toll-free pass policy, financial institutions will be guided toward providing support to them through deferring interest payment, extending principal repayment and rolling over maturing loans.
"It is important to further cut costs for logistics companies, deferring or exempting relevant payments as needed. Such steps should also enable truck and taxi drivers to get tangible benefits," Li said.
"We must enhance preparedness in terms of policies and projects, do everything we can to keep economic development and employment stable, and work hard to meet this year's targets for economic and social development," Li said.