Date
23 November 2017
A worker operates a machine to cut a pipeline at a factory in Qingdao

The Big Picture: ANNUAL ECONOMIC MEET

The Central Economic Work Conference, an annual meeting convened by the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee and the State Council, is expected to be held this week to set the economic direction for the country for 2014, the China Securities Journal reported on Sunday, citing sources.

The main theme of the central government’s economic policies next year will be to implement administrative and fiscal system reforms, as well as financial sector and state-owned-enterprises initiatives, the Economic Information Daily said in a separate report. The biggest move is likely to be pricing reform in public goods, while authorities will also focus on expansion of resource tax and taxation reform in the coal industry, it said. 

Some observers also believe the government will allow the setting up of new private banks, expand the scale of lenders’ asset securitization and allow some local governments to issue municipal construction bonds. Meanwhile, banks could be allowed to launch a deposit protection scheme and resume the launch of negotiable certificates of deposit. 

Beijing is expected to lower the gross domestic product growth target for next year to 7.0 percent from this year’s goal of 7.5 percent, the Securities Journal said, citing estimates made by the National Information Center and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The lower target is aimed at creating a buffer for the nation as it carries out economic reform and industry upgrade.

Some economists say the government should push forward income distribution reform to boost domestic consumption while creating fund-raising channels for corporates to boost investment. To lift exports, authorities are expected to step up the construction pace of the Shanghai free trade zone.

Apart from the Central Economic Work Conference, the party will also hold the National Urbanization Work Conference very soon. Reforms of the nation’s land, taxation and hukou systems are likely to be announced.

Two-child policy to be implemented from 2014

A new policy allowing families to have a second child if either parent is an only child will be implemented gradually next year in various places across the country, Beijing Times reported Sunday, citing Wang Peian, vice minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission. Wang told China Central Television in an interview that the policy is a long-term one and qualified parents should wait for the guidelines to be published by the local government units. 

Govt to launch tax-deferred annuity scheme

The government will start implementing next year a tax-deferred annuity scheme patterned after the 401(k) retirement plan in the United States, Beijing Times said Sunday, citing a notice jointly issued by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the State Administration of Taxation. Under the scheme, employees will not be taxed on their contributions to pension plans until they start withdrawals after retirement. The new system is aimed at easing the burden on employees while helping in the development of the capital market.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/MY/RC

 

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