Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers a government work report at the opening meeting of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5 (XINHUA)
At the opening of the First Session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing on March 5, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered the Report on the Work of the Government. While reviewing China's economic and social development in 2017, the report put forward proposals for government work in 2018. The following are the highlights of the report:
Major Work in the Past Five Years
• With a commitment to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, the government has focused on developing new and better approaches to macro regulation, kept major indicators within an appropriate range, and achieved stable, positive economic performance.
• With a commitment to treating supply-side structural reform as our main task, the government has focused on fostering new growth drivers to speed up economic structural upgrading.
• With a commitment to innovation-driven development, and a focus on unlocking public creativity, the government has achieved a remarkable improvement in our general capacity for making innovations and for seeing that innovation delivers.
• With a commitment to deepening reform across the board, the government has taken major steps to remove institutional barriers, thus steadily boosting the driving forces powering development.
• With a commitment to China's fundamental policy of opening up, the government has focused on promoting win-win cooperation, and significantly improved the performance of our country's open economy.
• With a commitment to implementing the coordinated regional development and new urbanization strategies, the government has promoted more balanced development, and seen new growth poles and belts developing faster.
• With a commitment to a people-centered development philosophy, the government has endeavored to ensure and improve living standards and seen the growing satisfaction of the people.
• With a commitment to achieving harmony between human and nature, the government has taken major steps to address pollution, and achieved notable progress in ecological conservation.
• With a commitment to fully performing government functions in accordance with law, the government has focused on enhancing and developing new forms of social governance, and ensured social harmony and stability.
Projected Targets for Development in 2018
• GDP growth of around 6.5 percent
• CPI increase of around 3 percent
• Over 11 million new urban jobs, the surveyed urban unemployment rate within 5.5 percent and the registered urban jobless rate within 4.5 percent
• Basic parity in personal income growth and economic growth
• A steady rise in import and export volumes and a basic equilibrium in the balance of payments
• A drop of at least 3 percent in energy consumption per unit of GDP, and continued reductions in the release of major pollutants
• Substantive progress in supply-side structural reform, basically stable macro leverage, and systematic and effective prevention and control of risk
General Principle of Pursuing Progress
• Strongly promoting high-quality development
• Being bolder in reform and opening up
• Ensuring success in the three critical battles against potential risk, poverty and pollution, battles that are important for decisively bringing to completion the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects
Proposals for the Work in 2018
Stepping up supply-side structural reform
• Developing powerful new growth drivers
• Speeding up work to build China into a leader in manufacturing
• Continuing to cut ineffective supply
In 2018, steel production capacity will be cut by around 30 million metric tons and coal production capacity by approximately 150 million metric tons. Coal-fired power-generating units with a capacity of less than 300,000 kw that fail to meet standards will be closed.
• Deepening the reforms designed to delegate power, improve regulation and provide better services
• Further lightening the tax burden on businesses
Taxes on businesses and individuals will be reduced by more than 800 billion yuan.
• Slashing non-tax burdens on businesses
Non-tax burden on market entities is expected to be lightened by over 300 billion yuan in 2018.
Moving faster to make China a country of innovators
• Improving national innovation systems
• Acting on and improving policies that stimulate innovation
• Assuring the nationwide business startup and innovation drive is taken to the next level
Deepening reforms in fundamental and key areas
• Advancing the reform of state capital and SOEs
• Supporting the development of private enterprises
• Improving property rights systems and mechanisms for market-based allocation of the factors of production
• Continuing structural fiscal and tax reforms
• Speeding up reforms in the financial sector
• Advancing institutional social reforms
• Building a more robust system for developing an ecological civilization
Fighting three critical battles
• Striving for notable progress in forestalling and defusing major risks
Local government special bonds issued will total 1.35 trillion yuan, an increase of 550 billion yuan year on year.
• Stepping up targeted poverty alleviation
Poor rural populations will be further reduced by over 10 million, including 2.8 million people who are to be relocated from inhospitable areas.
• Working to make greater progress in addressing pollution
Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions will be cut by 3 percent. A continuous decline in PM2.5 density in key areas will be achieved. Chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions will be cut by 2 percent.
Making strong moves in the rural revitalization strategy
• Advancing supply-side structural reform in agriculture
The area of high-standard cropland will be increased by at least 5.33 million hectares and the coverage of efficient water-saving irrigation will be expanded by 1.33 million hectares.
• Deepening all rural reforms
• Promoting the full development of all programs in rural areas
The infrastructure for supplying water and power, information, and so on will be improved. A total of 200,000 km of rural roads will be built or upgraded.
Making solid progress in the coordinated regional development strategy
• Creating a new landscape in regional development
• Pursuing better-quality new urbanization
This year, another 13 million people will be registered as permanent urban residents, and the work on granting permanent urban residency to people from rural areas living in cities will be sped up.
Actively increasing consumption and promoting effective investment
• Strengthening the fundamental role of consumption in driving economic growth
The preferential policies on purchase tax on new-energy vehicles will be extended by another three years. All local policies that restrict sales of non-local second-hand vehicles will be rescinded.
• Enabling investment to play a pivotal role in improving the supply structure
Creating a new landscape in all-around opening up
• Advancing international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative
• Promoting a steady growth in foreign investment
• Consolidating the healthy trend toward stable growth in foreign trade
• Promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation
Doing more to ensure and improve people's well-being
• Focusing on boosting employment and business startups
• Steadily increasing people's incomes
• Developing fair, high-quality education
• Implementing the Healthy China strategy
• Better addressing people's housing needs
• Strengthening efforts to meet people's basic living needs
• Developing a new model of social governance based on collaboration, co-governance, and common gains
• Providing rich cultural nourishment to help our people to live better lives
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