III. Major Tasks for Economic and Social Development in 2017
In 2017, we will continue to uphold the general principle of seeking progress while keeping performance stable, take supply-side structural reform as our main task, and apply the new development philosophy, so as to steer the new normal in the economy. Our efforts will focus on the following nine areas.
1. Promoting substantive progress in the priority tasks of cutting overcapacity, reducing excess inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs, and strengthening points of weakness.
In line with the CPC Central Committee and the State Council's overall arrangements for supply-side structural reform, we will intensify efforts to fulfill the five priority tasks, reduce ineffective and inefficient supply while increasing effective supply, and improve the profit-making ability of enterprises.
1) We will make concrete efforts to scale down overcapacity.
This year, we will cut production capacity by around 50 million metric tons of steel and over 150 million metric tons of coal. At the same, we will shut down, stop, or suspend the construction of coal-fired power plants with a capacity of more than 50 million kilowatts, so as to guard against and defuse overcapacity risks in the coal-fired power industry and enhance its efficiency, while also improving the energy mix and creating space for the development of clean energy. Making full use of market-oriented and law-based means, we will work to strike an overall balance between the efforts to scale down overcapacity, ensure stable supply, improve the industrial structure, and transform and upgrade industries.
Our efforts to address the issue of "zombie enterprises" will constitute a key approach in cutting overcapacity. By strictly enforcing laws, regulations, and standards with regard to environmental protection, energy consumption, quality, and safety, we will intensify efforts to control the expansion of production capacity, shut down outdated production facilities, and crack down on violations of laws and regulations in this regard. Proper conditions will be created for promoting the merging and restructuring of enterprises, and proper arrangements will be put in place to handle debts and resettle laid-off workers. We will continue to make government funds available for rewards and subsidies in this regard.
2) We will continue to cut excess inventory by implementing policies tailored to local conditions.
We will take multiple, locally practicable measures to grant direct monetary housing compensation rather than housing to more people displaced by the redevelopment of run-down urban areas, move faster to implement the plan for granting urban residency to 100 million people without urban household registration living in urban areas, support the demand of urban residents for buying a second home if their first homes are inadequate, and ensure well-regulated development of the housing rental market.
In line with the principle that "houses are for habitation not speculation," we will exercise regulation on a per-category basis, implement place-based policies in different cities, and fully utilize financial, land, fiscal, tax, and investment policies as well as legislation, so as to accelerate efforts to establish a sound permanent mechanism for ensuring the steady and healthy development of the real estate industry and keep housing prices from rising too quickly in popular cities. In working toward establishing policy-backed financial institutions specializing in housing, we will carry out research on reforming the housing provident fund system; and we will support people's demand for housing for personal use.
3) We will lower leverage ratios of enterprises in a proactive yet prudent manner.
By means of merger, restructuring, and bankruptcy, we will promote a clearing out of zombie enterprises. We will encourage banks, relevant institutions, and enterprises to carry out market-based debt-to-equity swaps on the basis of negotiations between themselves. We will develop equity financing, broaden its financing channels, and place tighter constraints on the leveraging activities of enterprises.
4) We will continue to implement a full range of measures for reducing costs in the real economy.
We will further simplify approval procedures, overhaul or abolish irregular fees charged by administrative review intermediaries, and reduce unreasonably high intermediary and evaluation fees so as to lower the transaction costs of enterprises imposed by the government. Efforts will be enhanced to cut taxes, fees, and the costs of factors of production;greatly reduce non-tax burdens; lower financing costs, enterprise energy and land-use costs, and logistics costs; increase the flexibility of the labor market; and encourage enterprises to tap internal potential for reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
We will intensify efforts to review and regulate fees and charges related to enterprises; implement preferential policies to reduce taxes and fees levied on them; cut the number of service fees for which pricing is set by the government; further review and regulate government-managed funds, administrative charges, and business service fees; and work to lower fees and charges related to financial and railway freight services levied on enterprises. In addition, we will create new oversight systems for fees and charges related to enterprises and tighten oversight over those business service fees for which pricing is market-based. We will redouble efforts to review security deposits in the construction industry.
5) We will bolster points of weakness in a more targeted and effective fashion.
We will moderately increase investment from the central government budget and improve its structure, channeling it toward key areas such as poverty alleviation, agriculture, weak links in post-disaster water conservancy recovery and reconstruction, hard and soft infrastructure, and the enhancement of innovation capacity. We will comprehensively advance the 165 major projects set out in the 13th Five-Year Plan.
2. We will intensify supply-side structural reform in the agricultural sector.
We will improve the industrial, production, and operational systems in the agricultural sector, step up efforts to foster new drivers for agricultural and rural development, and take serious measures to facilitate standardized production, brand building, and supervision over the quality and safety of agricultural products, with a view to raising the quality and performance of the agricultural sector and to ensuring its sustainable development. In 2017, total grain output will stand at over 550 million metric tons.
1) We will work toward a sound, smooth, and optimal agricultural structure.
We will facilitate the development of production centers for major agricultural products such as grain, cotton, oilseed, sugar crops, and natural rubber, support standardized, large-scale livestock and aquaculture farming, and step up the construction of national seed cultivation and production centers and the development of projects for breeding superior varieties within crop, livestock, and aquaculture farming.
In addition to comprehensively implementing policies for providing special protection to permanent basic cropland, we will establish and develop functional zones for grain production and protective areas for the production of major agricultural products. We will formulate the plan for boosting the production of local agricultural products in areas with unique advantages, and continue with the trials to replace grain crop cultivation with feed crop cultivation and soybean cultivation. The production of corn kernel in inferior production areas will continue to be reduced and the production of high-quality forage crops, such as corn silage and alfalfa, will be expanded. We will stabilize the production of hogs and push for an optimal layout in this regard, and will increase the quality of dairy products. Production for aquaculture products will be reduced while the efficiency will be increased, and conservation efforts will be made on the Yangtze River and other key water bodies to protect aquatic organism resources.
For agricultural products, we will promote standardized production and brand development and protection, and will work to ensure quality and safety. We will carry forward crop-rotation and fallow-land trials, and promote the adoption of fallow periods for cropland and grassland and fishing moratoriums for rivers and lakes. We will carry out the initiative to achieve zero growth in the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and advance safe disposal and recycling of waste from livestock and poultry farming. We will undertake trials for creating a circular economy in the agricultural sector, develop hybrid industry-agriculture circular economy demonstration zones and centers, and establish pilot and demonstration zones for sustainable agricultural development.
2) We will continue to enhance agricultural and rural infrastructure.
We will move ahead with the development of 172 major water conservancy projects, and work to make a start on 15 more. Accelerated efforts will be made to develop high-grade cropland, farmland irrigation and water conservancy, and the modern seed industry, as well as large-scale livestock farms, storage and logistics facilities for grain and edible oil, and public-welfare wholesale markets for agricultural products. We will also work faster to consolidate and build on the achievements made in ensuring safe drinking water in rural areas.
Trials will be launched to apply the PPP model to the farming and forestry industries. We will carry out initiatives to promote the use of new energy in rural areas, support the development of information infrastructure and efficient water-saving irrigation facilities in rural areas with weak infrastructure in the central and western regions, and accelerate efforts to improve logistics networks for counties, townships, and villages.
3) We will step up innovations in agricultural science and technology.
We will promote the raising of better quality, specific, and healthy crop varieties and livestock breeds, strive to develop and apply green and efficient technologies for farming and breeding, and support technological transformation of the food and other processing industries. A number of major agricultural laboratories and national agricultural science research stations will be developed. We will improve incentive mechanisms for innovations in agricultural science and technology, and move ahead with trial reforms for allowing agricultural scientists to receive greater benefits for their scientific achievements. We will further reform the system for applying agricultural technology in villages, explore new mechanisms for allowing public institutions and agricultural technicians to engage in for-profit services, and facilitate the reduction of costs and energy consumption and the enhancement of efficiency to bolster agricultural growth.
We will launch initiatives that ensure intelligent agriculture leads China's agricultural modernization, fully implement the project to bring information technology to villages and rural households, and expand trials and demonstrations for the application of the Internet of Things in the agricultural sector.
4) We will develop new industries and new forms of business in rural areas.
We will advance pilot and demonstration projects for integrating rural industries, channel secondary and tertiary industries toward county seats, key towns and townships, and industrial parks, and begin building modern agricultural industrial parks that integrate production, processing, and science and technology. We will support eligible agricultural enterprises in issuing corporate bonds and launching projects for integrated development of rural industries.
We will implement the three-year action plan for Internet Plus modern agriculture, and establish comprehensive demonstrations for introducing e-commerce into rural areas. We will promote in-depth integration of agriculture with the tourism, cultural, fitness, and elderly-care industries. Development will be pursued in a host of towns and villages that brings together industry, culture, and tourism, secures simultaneous improvements in working, living, and ecological conditions, and fully integrates the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries.
5) We will press ahead with agricultural and rural reform.
A proactive yet prudent approach will be adopted in promoting reforms of the price-setting mechanism for grain and other important agricultural products as well as the system for their purchase and storage. We will continue to implement and improve the policy for setting minimum state-purchase prices for rice and wheat, and make appropriate adjustments to minimum purchase prices, so as to ensure a rational ratio of minimum purchase prices to market prices. We will enhance the price-setting mechanism for corn in the northeast that combines market-based purchase prices and supplementary government subsidies, and reduce excess stockpiles of policy-supported grain in a steady and orderly manner. We will improve the policy for guaranteeing base prices for cotton and adjust the pricing policy for soybeans. Improvements will be made to the system of agricultural subsidies, ensuring that relevant reforms are oriented toward green development and ecological progress. Comprehensive reform of pricing for water used in agriculture will be advanced across the board.
Reform of the rural collective property-rights system will be deepened to clearly identify rural collective property rights and to grant rural residents more adequate property rights. We will reform the mechanism for ensuring budgetary support for agriculture and work to merge rural-development funds. We will implement measures for separating land ownership rights, contract rights, and management rights for contracted rural land. We will make overall arrangements to carry out trial reforms with regard to rural land requisition, the marketization of rural collective land designated for commercial construction, and the system for rural residential land. We will cultivate new types of agribusiness and agricultural service providers, and promote the development of suitably scaled-up operations of land in diversified forms.
A catastrophe insurance scheme will be introduced in some regions for farmers whose operations are suitably scaled-up. We will improve the agricultural reinsurance system and ensure sustainable and sound agricultural insurance schemes provide strong support for the development of modern agriculture.