Tax cuts, fee reductions to support market players highlighted during Li’s inspection

Premier Li Keqiang has pledged stronger measures to ensure the supply of commodities and rein in their prices, saying that the government will extend support to businesses struggling to cope with rising costs and prevent a possible surge in consumer prices.

During an inspection trip to Ningbo next to Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Monday and Tuesday, Li said the government will seek to properly guide market expectations, strengthen its reserves, conduct market regulation and target hoarding and profiteering in order to deal with the recent hike in commodity prices.

Li learned about the impact of the recent surge in commodity prices on business operations as he talked with business executives.

He underscored that these price hikes not only led to mounting pressure on large manufacturers but also impacted on the operations of smaller firms and the self-employed.

The premier highlighted the need to employ tax cuts, fee reductions and inclusive finance to support market players, adding that businesses should explore the potential to reduce their costs and improve their competitiveness.

The trip came days after Li chaired an executive meeting of the State Council that adopted steps to tackle the recent surge in commodity prices.

He visited Beilun, part of the Ningbo Zhoushan Port, which has topped the world’s cargo throughput for 12 consecutive years and is the country’s largest transfer station for iron ore and crude oil.

Li encouraged the port to boost its strengths in terms of its geographical position, waterways and links with river transport and employ market methods to beef up imports, storage and transportation of commodities in order to improve its capability to respond to future periodic fluctuations in the global economy and stabilize industry and supply chains.

He inspected a job market in Ningbo, where he spoke with college graduates and job hunters.

He noted that flexible employment has become an important channel for the public to increase their incomes, with China having already registered over 200 million people on flexible payrolls.

It is important to offer more individuals on flexible payrolls guarantees in terms of social security policies, which will also help create more jobs and enhance the competitiveness of cities, he said.

The premier also inspected Loctek, a producer of work-from-home utilities, and spoke via video link with the company’s staff in Europe.

He encouraged the company to develop more products catering to consumer demand, keep expanding new growth engines and give more play to the role of its overseas warehouses to help other domestic producers explore the overseas market.

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