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Li says supply remains vital policy issue

By Zhang Yue | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-13 08:59

Workers arrange protective suits at a workshop in a company in Ningjin county, North China's Hebei province, Feb 12, 2020. Many local companies producing protective suits have rushed to work to meet the increasing need of medical material after the novel coronavirus outbreak. [Photo/Xinhua]

China is ready to enhance its macroeconomic adjustment and better ensure key supplies to maintain normality in social and economic development, while advancing epidemic control with all-out efforts.

A number of related measures were adopted at the State Council executive meeting on Tuesday chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

It was pointed out at the meeting that supplies of key medical materials to deal with epidemic prevention have picked up rapidly, while the supply of daily necessities remains sufficient. Leading officials from related departments said at the meeting that the possibility of a travel rush after the Spring Festival holiday remains limited.

"While ensuring effective outbreak response, a category-based approach should be adopted in resuming production," Li said.

The immediate priority for Hubei province is to remain focused on epidemic containment while ensuring the normal operation of businesses vital for outbreak response and key urban services.

Other provinces will take well-targeted measures in epidemic control and prevention based on local circumstances. For most cities in other provinces with limited numbers of cases, local authorities will progressively facilitate the resumption of production.

Transportation routes and key logistics hubs must remain unimpeded. In places where the situation is not that serious, coach services and urban public transportation can be resumed in an orderly way.

The meeting called for intensified efforts to ease the difficulties facing businesses. Local governments should establish, based on local needs, special mechanisms to help companies cope with the impact of the outbreak. Temporary measures should be implemented to support small and medium-sized enterprises, including cutting or waiving rent for private, micro and small firms in State-owned properties, lowering lending rates and improving tax relief policies.

The meeting called for employment to remain a key issue, and efforts should be made to avoid large-scale layoffs. Local governments are encouraged to use funds, including the surplus of unemployment insurance funds, to help businesses keep their payrolls stable. The deferral of social insurance contributions and other possible means will be encouraged in areas where conditions permit.

"All ministries and departments under the State Council must act on the requirements of the State Council's interagency task force, and introduce, in a timely way, supportive policies as the outbreak situation evolves, in order to promote social and economic development," Li said.

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