First-quarter tax and fee cuts save total of 742.8 billion yuan

A number of ministry-level departments, including those responsible for taxation, education, and industry and information technology, have recently responded to issues of public concern.

Tax revenue down 16.4% in first quarter of year

China saw a total of 742.8 billion yuan ($105.19 billion) of tax cuts and fee reductions in the first quarter of this year, according to the State Taxation Administration.

As much as 318.2 billion yuan came from favorable policies the government adopted this year to boost efforts to contain the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic and boost economic development, Cai Zili, director of the administration's revenue planning and accounting department, told a news conference on April 29.

The rest came from larger-scale tax and fee reduction policies adopted last year, he said.

The country had recently released new tax cut policies, such as those designed to boost car sales, Cai said, and had resorted to different measures to help medium-sized, small and micro-sized businesses get through the hard times.

China's first-quarter tax revenue dropped 16.4 percent year-on-year as a result of tax and fee cuts and the smaller tax base due to the pandemic, he said.

Cai said the drop would be significantly less in the second quarter, as macroeconomic policies issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council were having positive effects and people's lives were quickly returning to normal.

1 million students return to university campuses

More than 1 million university students had returned to campus in 14 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, by Thursday.

The statistics were revealed at a meeting held by the Ministry of Education to guide universities' preparations for the new semester.

Universities in nine other provincial-level regions will start their new semesters after the Labor Day holiday, the ministry said in a statement.

It was emphasized at the meeting that universities should make careful plans, put the lives and health of teachers and students front and center, and pay great attention to students' interests, such as exams and job hunting.

They should also adopt strict disease prevention policies and readjust them according to the development of the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic.

Online campaign to help graduates find jobs

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Education will launch an online employment campaign to help university graduates find jobs in small and medium-sized enterprises.

The China SME Information Portal ( and the Ministry of Education's job site for university graduates ( will publish information about jobs and job seekers for free, according to a notice released online.

The campaign will be carried out in two stages, one from May 11 to June 29, and the other from Oct 12 to Nov 30.

Companies and universities will hold online job interviews in the first stage and campus recruiting in the second stage.

Local authorities overseeing SMEs should arrange for the enterprises to join the campaign and create a database that includes information about the enterprises, job descriptions and the number of people they plan to hire.

University departments in charge of graduates' employment affairs should set up a database of job seekers that includes their personal information, the jobs they are looking for and where they plan to work.

Car loans encouraged in bid to boost sales

The authorities have unveiled a slew of measures to drive car sales amid efforts to ensure the stable and normal operation of the economy, a circular released on April 29 said.

The circular was jointly issued by 11 departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Financial institutions will be encouraged to offer loans to people wanting to buy cars, it said.

More efforts will be made to increase support for car loans and boost sales by lowering down payment ratios and interest rates and extending repayment periods.

Steps will also be taken to make it easier to trade used cars, so as to drive new car sales.

Other measures include adjustments to the implementation of "China VI" vehicle emission standards, and favorable tax policies for purchases of new energy vehicles.

Xinhua contributed to this story.