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China decides to prioritize employment in fiscal and monetary policies

2022/5/13 7:45:20   source:CGTN

China will adopt fiscal and monetary policies that prioritize job creation, as part of efforts to keep overall economic performance stable, according to State Council's Executive Meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The greater than expected impacts from the new round of COVID-19 resurgence and shifting dynamics in the international environment have added new downward pressure to the economy in April, Li said.

"We must attach high importance to the work of stabilizing employment," he added, calling on local governments to step up to their responsibilities of supporting market entities and stabilizing jobs.

Exempt student loan interest

In 2022, the number of college graduates exceeded 10 million for the first time in China.

To help them reduce burden and find employment, the meeting decided to exempt the national student loan interest that the graduates of 2022 and previous years should repay this year, and allow them to repay the principal with a one-year extension, excluding compound interest.

It is estimated that the interest-free worth more than 2 billion yuan ($300 million) and deferred principal repayment worth more than 5 billion yuan will benefit more than 4 million graduates, according to decisions made at the meeting.

Mobilize existing assets

The meeting also deployed measures to better mobilize existing assets, broaden the channels for private investment and expand effective investment.

The mobilization of existing assets through setting up real estate investment trusts and other means will be encouraged. Localities will be guided to introduce demonstrative projects for attracting investment, and all types of investors will be treated as equals.

The market-based operation mechanism will be improved to raise the returns from the projects. New projects invested by recovered funds will be given access to the funding of special-purpose bonds.

The principle of market-orientation and law-based operation will be upheld, and transactions prices will be set in an open and transparent way. The steady operation of infrastructure will be ensured to safeguard public interests.

Stabilize supply and prices

"Price is the most sensitive signal and also the most important lever of the market. We must attach great importance to price stability, food and energy security and the stability of industrial and supply chains," Li said.

While ensuring effective COVID-19 response, further efforts will be made to ensure unimpeded logistics, especially in key areas, and safeguard the stability of industrial and supply chains.

The normal supply of energy will be guaranteed. On top of the support provided to electricity producers managed by the central government, including 50 billion yuan ($7.43 billion U.S. dollars) in renewable energy subsidies and 20 billion yuan of replenished funds from the state capital operations budget, an additional 50 billion yuan in subsidies and 10 billion yuan from the budget will be made available to support coal-fired power plants in overcoming difficulties and increasing electricity generation.

Localities will be guided to subsidize the utility bills of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed households.

(With input from Xinhua)

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