REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE GOVERNMENT文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14270.html
Delivered at the First Session of the 14th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on March 5, 2023文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14270.html
Premier of the State Council文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14270.html
The term of this government is about to come to a close. On behalf of the State Council, I will now report to you on the work of the government for your deliberation and approval and also for comments from members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
I. A Review of Our Work in 2022 and over the Past Five Years
The year 2022 was a year of great importance in the history of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and our country. The Party successfully convened its 20th National Congress, during which it drew up an inspiring blueprint for building China into a modern socialist country in all respects. In the face of high winds and choppy waters in the international environment and challenging tasks in promoting reform, development, and stability at home, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core brought together the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and led them in meeting difficulties head-on. We acted on the requirements of responding effectively to Covid-19, maintaining economic stability, and ensuring security in development, and intensified macro regulation. As a result, we stabilized the economy, steadily enhanced development quality, and maintained overall social stability, securing new and hard-won achievements in China’s development.
Over the past year, China’s economy was impacted by Covid-19 and other domestic and international factors beyond our expectations. However, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee, we carried out Covid-19 response and pursued economic and social development in an effective and well-coordinated way; and we improved and adjusted response measures in view of virus variations and the evolving dynamics of epidemic prevention and control.
Confronted with new downward pressure on the economy, we acted decisively and made timely adjustments. We made use of the policy tools kept in reserve over recent years, front-loaded the implementation of adopted policies, and remained firm in advancing supply-side structural reform. We unveiled and implemented a full range of policies and follow-up measures to stabilize the economy.
We formulated plans for the task of ensuring overall economic stability. We stepped up supervision and support to ensure policy implementation by local governments and assisted them in fully leveraging the potential of policies, and supported major economically developed provinces in shouldering greater responsibility. We gave priority to ensuring stable growth, employment, and prices, thus bringing about a steady economic recovery.
Gross domestic product (GDP) of the year grew by 3 percent. A total of 12.06 million urban jobs were added, with the year-end surveyed urban unemployment rate falling to 5.5 percent. The consumer price index (CPI) rose by 2 percent. The total volume of trade in goods rose by 7.7 percent. The deficit-to-GDP ratio was kept at 2.8 percent, and central government revenue and expenditure were in line with budget projections, with expenditure slightly lower than the budgeted figure. A basic equilibrium was maintained in the balance of payments, and the RMB exchange rate remained stable relative to other major global currencies. Grain output reached 685 million metric tons, an increase of 3.7 million metric tons. The environment continued to improve.
Overcoming great difficulties and challenges, we succeeded in maintaining overall stable economic performance. Amid a complex and fluid environment, we were able to generally accomplish the main targets and tasks for the year. Such achievements are a testament to the tremendous resilience of China’s economy.
We stepped up relief support to enterprises facing growing difficulties in operation and production. Impacted by Covid-19 and other factors, many enterprises and self-employed individuals experienced acute distress. Last year, value-added tax (VAT) credit refunds exceeded 2.4 trillion yuan, newly implemented tax and fee cuts amounted to more than 1 trillion yuan, and postponements were introduced for tax and fee payments of over 750 billion yuan. To ensure implementation of tax and fee reduction policies, the central government significantly increased transfer payments to local governments.
We provided guidance to financial institutions on increasing credit supply and lowering financing costs. Average interest rates on new enterprise loans fell to the lowest level on record, and time-limited measures were taken to defer principal and interest repayments on loans to businesses severely affected by Covid-19, such as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), self-employed individuals, and enterprises in catering, tourism, and freight transportation, and to lower interest rates on inclusive loans to micro and small businesses. We injected fresh vitality into the market through reform. Many MSMEs and self-employed individuals in various sectors have benefited as a result.
To address lack of effective demand, we adopted a combination of measures to expand investment, stimulate consumption, and stabilize foreign trade.
Consumer spending was hit hard last year, and investment also suffered. In response, we launched several major projects set out in the 14th Five-Year Plan ahead of schedule, expedited the processes of issuing and utilizing local government special-purpose bonds, made better use of carryover quotas for special-purpose bonds in accordance with the law, and issued development and policy-backed financial instruments in two batches totaling 740 billion yuan to replenish the capital for major projects.
We used targeted re-lending, loan interest subsidies, and other policies to support key sectors in upgrading equipment. To speed up project screening, different government departments established joint offices and a commitment-based approval system was adopted for local governments.
In 2022, investments in infrastructure and the manufacturing sector increased by 9.4 percent and 9.1 percent respectively, while fixed-asset investment increased by 5.1 percent. This has, to some degree, offset the contraction in consumption. We fostered new modes and new forms of consumer spending and adopted measures including reductions and exemptions on vehicle purchase tax to boost spending on automobiles. As a result, sales of new-energy vehicles surged by 93.4 percent.
Initiatives were launched to stimulate spending on green and smart home appliances and green building materials in rural areas. Thanks to these efforts, we kept total retail sales of consumer products generally stable.
We adopted financial measures to meet people’s demand for buying their first home or improving their housing situation and took concrete steps to ensure that overdue housing projects were completed and delivered to meet people’s basic living needs.
We assisted foreign trade enterprises in tackling difficulties relating to raw materials, labor, and logistics, improved loading, unloading and transport efficiency in ports, and responded promptly to the concerns of foreign-funded enterprises and helped resolve their problems. The volume of trade in goods exceeded expectations, and utilized foreign investment increased steadily.
In response to significant employment pressure, we boosted policy support to stabilize and increase employment. Last year, the surveyed urban unemployment rate saw a notable increase for some time. Therefore, we put a stronger emphasis on ensuring stable employment when implementing fiscal, tax, financial, and investment policies. We postponed the payment of social insurance premiums by enterprises in distressed sectors, significantly increased the proportion of unemployment insurance funds returned to enterprises to keep payrolls stable, and raised subsidies for stabilizing and increasing employment. To support business startups, we implemented policies on guaranteed loans and on reducing or waiving the rent for state-owned premises.
We made college graduates employment a priority and provided targeted assistance to people who had difficulty finding employment. Work-relief programs in major projects were expanded. More than 32 million people were lifted out of poverty with new employment, maintaining a steady increase. Thanks to these efforts, overall employment remained stable.
In the face of a global surge in inflation, we strived to ensure market supply and stable prices, particularly those of food and energy. Last year, global inflation rocketed to a 40-year high, exerting great pressure on domestic price stability.
We responded effectively to major natural disasters such as floods and droughts. To see that no time was lost during the planting and harvest seasons, we worked to ensure unrestricted movement of agricultural machines on public roads and saw that farming was free from disruptions.
We issued agricultural supply subsidies to grain growers in three installments. All this helped ensure good grain harvests and stable supplies of major agricultural products.
We leveraged the role of coal as a major source of energy, increased advanced coal production capacity and stepped up support for power plants and heat-supply enterprises to ensure energy supplies. Despite high global inflation, we have kept overall prices at a comparatively low level, which is truly remarkable.
To assist people experiencing increased difficulties in their lives, we bolstered support to ensure their basic living needs. We took time-limited measures to expand the scope of subsistence allowances and other social security policies to cover more groups in difficulty. Continuing the policy on expanding unemployment insurance coverage, we provided unemployment benefits to over 10 million people in total. We also provided price subsidies for more people on low incomes, benefiting about 67 million in all.
We waived interest payments on government-subsidized student loans to college graduates with financial difficulties and granted extensions on the principal repayments for these loans. We provided emergency assistance to people hit hard by the epidemic or natural disasters, thus ensuring that the basic living needs of all our people were met.
We also fully implemented the plans set forth at the Central Conference on Economic Work and in the Report on the Work of the Government approved at the Fifth Session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), and made coordinated advances in all fields of economic and social development.
Thanks to our dedicated work, consumer demand, market distribution, industrial production, and business expectations have all markedly improved. China’s economy is staging a steady recovery and demonstrating vast potential and momentum for further growth.