China has unveiled tens of billions of dollars worth of tax and fee cuts as part of a drive to kickstart the stuttering economy, extending pledges worth USD 300 billion announced last month.
With growth at a two-decade low and the economy struggling under the weight of the US trade row and a soft global outlook, leaders are looking to grease the cogs by getting the country's vast army of consumers to start spending.
The State Council, or cabinet, said late Wednesday it would reduce electricity and internet costs, port and railway charges and a variety of fees for individuals and businesses to cut their annual burdens by about 300 billion yuan (USD 45 billion).
For businesses, the government will lower average electricity fees by 10 percent and cut broadband fees for small- and medium-sized businesses by 15 percent, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
It will also cut trademark registration fees, the State Council said.
For individuals, China will cut a variety of bureaucratic red tape, like fees on postal imports, real estate registration, passport issuance and mobile internet rates.
"Tax and fee cuts are our key measures to tackle the downward economic pressure this year," said Premier Li Keqiang, according to Xinhua.
The announcement follows promises last month to cut company taxes and employer social insurance contributions by nearly two trillion yuan (USD 298 billion), with the first batch of cuts kicking in April 1.
The meeting Wednesday also outlined new draft amendments to beef up the foreign investment law passed last month, with a provision for "non-discrimination" in administrative licensing as well as measures to improve the protection of trademarks.