China’s NDRC releases new plan to back up economic growth, employment
Published: May 17, 2022 04:42 PM Updated: May 17, 2022 04:36 PM
Meng Wei, spokesperson for China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference Sunday Photo: Song Lin/GT
Meng Wei, spokesperson for China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference Sunday Photo: Song Lin/GT

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) made public a plan to stimulate economic growth, by speeding up implementation of action items listed in the Government Work Report, in addition to new measures such as safeguarding the country’s energy supply and tax cuts. 

The economic planner acknowledged series of challenges that China is facing, saying that the complexity, severity and uncertainty of China’s economic development environment are increasing, while stabilization work to be focused on economic growth, employment and commodity prices. 

Factoring in coronavirus resurgences and a changing global situation, downward pressure is increasing on China’s economy, Meng Wei, a spokesperson from the NDRC, said during a press conference on Tuesday. 

Meng expressed confidence that China’s economic momentum will quickly recover, and that domestic economic operation will likely get back on track after the epidemic is effectively brought under control and economic activity resumes.  

At the conference, Meng elaborated upon the policies that the NDRC plans to take to coordinate epidemic control and economic development. The body plans to put in more effort to implement policies that have already been announced. It would speed up the pace of implementation and strive to carry out the bulk of them in the first half of this year according to what has been mapped out in the Central Economic Work Conference and Government Work Report, Meng said. 

Dong Shaopeng, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, said that a focus of the NDRC’s work is to guide local governments, investment entities and other parties to advance infrastructure construction, including information infrastructure projects. 

“Infrastructure investment will play a crucial role in lifting China’s economic growth,” Dong told the Global Times.

According to the NDRC, China approved eight fixed assets investment projects amounting to 18.8 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) in April, with a focus on information, energy and other areas. So far, all of China’s local government special bonds quota for construction projects has been released in 2022. As of end of April, China had issued about 1.4 trillion yuan in special bonds. 

On the other hand, the NDRC will also speed up arranging incremental policy tools, which Dong interpreted as policies rolled out apart from the Government Work Report to deal with the challenges. For example, new policies have been rolled out during a recent State Council meeting such as giving increased policy support to difficult companies as well as safeguarding energy supplies. The NDRC will see to it that those policies will be fully executed. 

Meng referenced a number of strategic sectors. For example, she noted that the NDRC would safeguard supplies and stabilize price of bulk commodities, such as by improving coal’s supply-produce-storage-sale system. 

She also noted that China will increase the strength of implementing employment priority policies, push for the economy-wide resumption of work and speed up implementing tax cuts and reimbursement policies. 

Dong noted that the new policies will coordinate well with previously set policies to help the country solve specific problems which have emerged during the battle with coronavirus. He also suggested another interest rate cut could help revitalize the market. 

Global Times