File photo/Zhang Jian (NBD)

The State Council on Tuesday decided to beef up targeted assistance to those in need and small businesses amid efforts to address challenges facing the Chinese economy.

More will be done to enhance support to those living in poverty, living on minimum subsistence allowances or unemployed, and the country will ramp up financial services for micro and small firms, according to a statement released after a State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

The meeting decided that the construction of major national projects will prioritize employing those living in poverty, and the policy of using employment as a form of relief will be implemented in more areas with salary accounting for a higher percentage of the funding for the projects.

As the COVID-19 epidemic could lead to people being stricken or re-stricken by poverty, the State Council called for adopting supportive measures, including providing micro-loans with discounted interest and skill training to vulnerable labor forces.

The meeting decided to expand the access of both minimum subsistence allowances and unemployment insurance, to cover all those eligible.

To enhance financial support to micro and small companies, the meeting called on banks to offer more loans and decided to temporarily lower the provision coverage ratio of small and medium-sized banks by 20 percentage points to free up more credit.

For micro and small firms as well as individually-owned businesses in the service industry who are tenants of state-owned properties, the State Council urged waiving their rent for three months in the first half of the year, calling on state-owned enterprises and public institutions to take the lead.

Tax relief and loans with discounted interest can be made available to both state and non-state properties that introduce rent reduction or exemption, according to the meeting. 



Editor: Gao Han