China to cut $8.5 billion a year in administrative fees to spur business growth

China will cut roughly 40 billion yuan (S$8.47 billion) a year in taxes and fees as part of an effort to stimulate the slowing economy, the State Council said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
China will cut roughly 40 billion yuan (S$8.47 billion) a year in taxes and fees as part of an effort to stimulate the slowing economy, the State Council said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will cut roughly 40 billion yuan (S$8.47 billion) a year in taxes and fees as part of an effort to stimulate the slowing economy, the State Council said.

Starting January 2015, the government will scrap 42 administrative fees and 12 business registration fees, measures specifically tailored to relieve burdens on small businesses, according to the State Council, China's cabinet.

Businesses with monthly sales of less than 30,000 yuan will be exempt from five additional charges for the next three years, according to the State Council, which additionally said it would target pricing reforms to promote competition in the energy, transportation and environment sectors.

China's leaders have taken steps to steady growth levels as they confront mounting signs of a potentially sharp slowdown.

But calls for the government to ratchet up stimulus measures, including cutting interest rates, have intensified after official data showed third-quarter gross domestic product grew 7.3 percent, the slowest pace since the global financial crisis.

New data has also showed a drop in bank lending and money supply growth this month.

Speaking on Saturday at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Brisbane, Australia, President Xi Jinping sought to reassure global investors that his country would maintain "strong, sustainable and balanced growth."