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Key meeting charts course for economy

By XU WEI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-07-31 06:58

The view of the Lujiazui area at the Bund in Shanghai, Aug 2, 2019. [Photo/IC]

Political Bureau stresses need to enable recovery of nation's smaller businesses

China set out on Friday key economic policy directions for the second half of this year, stressing the need to bolster the efficiency of proactive fiscal policy and enable the sustained recovery of smaller firms and struggling sectors with a proper and adequate level of liquidity.

The nation will maintain the consistency, stability and sustainability of macro policies, ensure the alignment of macro policies between this year and the next and keep major economic indicators within a proper range, according to a statement released after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting.

The tone-setting meeting came after China's economy expanded 12.7 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2021, with the nation's GDP up by 7.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter.

The meeting highlighted an increasingly complex and challenging external environment, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to evolve and the domestic recovery remaining unsteady and unbalanced.

The meeting reiterated the importance of acting on the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, faithfully and comprehensively carrying out the new development philosophy, deepening supply-side structural reform and accelerating the fostering of a new development paradigm.

Efforts must be made to ensure the functioning of grassroots bodies, the public's well-being and the payment of wages at the primary level, with appropriate measures to keep up the progress of budgetary investments and the issuance of local government bonds.

The meeting pledged to enhance the independence of macro policies, with steps to maintain the exchange rate of the yuan at a reasonable level and to ensure the supply and price stability of bulk commodities.

In further exploring the potential of the domestic market, policymakers pledged to accelerate the growth in new-energy vehicles and step up the development of rural e-commerce and logistics delivery systems.

The resilience of scientific and technological innovation, as well as industry and supply chains, must be further harnessed, and fundamental research should be strengthened, they said.

A special action plan will be released on industry and supply chains, with quicker measures to resolve bottleneck problems, they added.

China will continue to pursue high-level opening-up and make steadfast efforts to promote the high-quality building of the Belt and Road, according to the meeting.

The meeting urged a faster rollout of an action plan for the nation to achieve peak carbon emissions by 2030, with measures to curb the blind development of projects with high levels of emissions and energy consumption.

To overcome risks in key sectors, policymakers stressed the implementation of a fiscal and financial risk treatment mechanism-to which chief local officials are responsible-and the need to improve the oversight mechanism for businesses going public overseas.

For the real estate sector, they reiterated the policy stance that housing is for living in, not for speculation, saying that land prices, real estate prices and market expectations must be stabilized and the development of rental housing, coupled with supportive policies in terms of land use and taxation, must be accelerated.

The meeting underlined the necessity to strengthen services for college graduates in their job-hunting process and to unblock channels for rural migrant workers to find jobs in urban areas, adding that employment security for workers on flexible payrolls must be improved.

To carry out the third-child policy, the policymakers said supportive policies in childbirth, parenting and education must be improved.

They also called for unrelenting measures in ensuring work safety and public safety, saying that more detailed and concrete steps in flood prevention and disaster relief must be carried out.

The nation must ensure the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic without any complacency, and continue to move forward with vaccination efforts, they added.

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