Arbitrary charges on businesses to be curbed

2021-01-22 12:03:15

An employee works on a production line of battery trays for new energy vehicles in Zouping, East China's Shandong province. [Photo/Xinhua] China will tighten measures and procedures to curb arbitrary charges on enterprises, according to the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. Meeting participants said that in recent years, localities and departments have worked hard to overhaul business-related charges. Administrative charges levied by the central government have been cut by 70 percent and those from government-managed funds cut by 30 percent. Local governments also have scrapped many charges. "The tax and fee cuts rolled out last year, as well as the policy to temporarily cut or exempt enterprises' social insurance contributions, have played a vital role in ensuring the stable operations of market entities and keeping the fundamentals of the economy stable," Li said. Inspections targeting unwarranted charges on enterprises will be carried out nationwide to deal with such issues as arbitrary new charges, raising charging standards and expanding the scope of charges. Self-examinations and random inspections of fees charged by industry associations will be carried out across the board. Law enforcement in transportation, taxation and emergency management will be better regulated. Discretionary standards will be formulated carefully, and minor violations and first-time or occasional road traffic offenders will be handled more often with warnings than fines. A list-based mechanism, in which a first violation isn't punished, will be promoted. "The economy is still recovering, and the foundation is not solid. We need to let enterprises feel how much the government cares about their survival and development and resolutely curb arbitrary charges on enterprises," Li said. New government-managed funds that charge corporate fees must observe rigorous legal procedures. All maturing funds must be canceled if conditions permit, and charges lowered for those that cannot be canceled for the time being. Charges that notably exceed service costs will be reduced, and administrative charges for general management functions abolished. Participants also urged the orderly collection of statutory taxes and fees, and ensuring that no undue burden will be added to enterprises or the public. No localities should require, on their own, that arrears be paid off in a lump sum. They should ensure that the transfer of fee-collection responsibility does not add to enterprises' financial burdens, particularly for smaller businesses. Provincial authorities will not change payment collection methods. Online services will be made available for business-related charges by the end of July, and mobile terminal services should be ready for individuals' items by year's end. Innovative payment methods shall be adopted to ensure convenience for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and people with severe disabilities.