East China's Shandong province will come out with policies to spur innovation, boost funding, reduce costs and improve the overall business environment as part of its efforts to boost the private sector, a top provincial official said.
Liu Jiayi, Party secretary of Shandong, said: "The private sector has always been an irreplaceable force in Shandong's development."
Citing statistics from recent years, Liu said the private sector accounts for 50 percent of the province's gross domestic product and 70 percent of its tax revenue. Nearly 90 percent of the businesses in the province are privately run, he said.
Currently the private sector in Shandong faces difficulties in getting financing, cost reduction, innovation, intellectual property rights protection and basic development needs such as land, labor and energy usage.
To tackle these difficulties, the province announced 10 measures last year to assist private companies in upgrading production equipment, enhancing innovation ability and reducing costs.
Most recently, in response to the six measures put forward by President Xi Jinping at a meeting with private entrepreneurs on Nov 1, the province released 35 measures last week, among which easing the tax burden for private companies was the top priority.
"With these measures, we expect to reduce taxes and costs worth 70 billion yuan ($10.1 billion) for private companies this year," Liu said.
Next year, private companies that carry out national-level scientific and technological projects will get monetary support worth at least 10 million yuan from the provincial government.
It will also encourage banks to explore more lending mechanisms for small and micro loans. Those with good credit records and tax ratings will have easier access to loans from banks.
Above all, Liu said the province will strive to constantly create a better business environment by carrying out more detailed measures including streamlining the administrative procedures to create a one-stop model for business registration and approvals.
"A new project shall take no more than 45 working days from approval to start construction or production," he said, adding there will be a third party to assess the business environment.
According to the measures, Party committees and governments at all levels in the province will spend more time and effort on private enterprises and entrepreneurs. Any policymaking about the private sector shall have participation from private entrepreneurs to ensure that the policies are practical and feasible.
Officials shall visit private companies to explain policies correctly to private entrepreneurs, in a bid to ensure that they use the policies to the fullest extent.
"We will work on forming a new type of cordial and clean relationship between the government and private businesses. The private sector has immense potential for growth in Shandong," said Liu.