Shanghai facilitates return to work and takes measures to support the economy | world news

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Authorities in Shanghai will roll back many conditions for businesses to resume work from Wednesday, a city official said on Sunday, easing a citywide lockdown that began there. about two months, and will also introduce policies to support its struggling economy.

China’s commercial hub of Shanghai reported a sharp decline in its economy last month as COVID-19 outbreaks led to strict restrictions and lockdowns, affecting manufacturing, retail sales and its real estate sector.

Now, the city government will revise guidelines for epidemic prevention and return-to-work control, roll back “unreasonable restrictions” on business resumption of work and production, and scrap its “whitelist” system. “Vice Mayor Wu Qing told a press briefing, referring to how he had previously prioritized certain companies in resuming work and released lists of names.

Businesses will also no longer need to apply to return to work from June 1, he said, without detailing what other restrictions have been removed.

City officials also announced an action plan – made up of 50 policy measures – to stimulate the economy, aimed at helping businesses and promoting consumption. These include accelerating the issuance and use of local government bonds, asking banks to renew loans to small and medium-sized enterprises and setting up a green channel for the approval of real estate projects. .

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The city will also cut some passenger car purchase taxes to boost automobile consumption and increase the license plate quota for passenger cars by 40,000 this year. Shanghai had issued 135,000 such license plates in 2021.

A subsidy of 10,000 yuan will also be given to people wishing to switch to an electric vehicle.

Additionally, authorities will seek to help businesses affected by the lockdown by allowing them to delay insurance and rent payments, as well as offering subsidies on their utility bills. E-commerce platforms and large retail companies will be supported by voucher discounts, especially for the culture, tourism and fitness industries.

All of these measures, combined with others that were rolled out in late March, are expected to reduce more than 300 billion yuan of financial burden due to the pandemic for market participants for the full year, Hua said. Yuan, deputy general secretary. of the Shanghai municipal government.

“In short, we will do our best to help all kinds of businesses…and work together to restore and revitalize Shanghai’s economy,” Wu said.

“Although the pandemic has had a great impact on Shanghai’s economy and society… The long-term positive trend of Shanghai’s economy has not changed.”

(Reporting by Brenda Goh, Ma Rong and Emily Chow Editing by William Mallard, Raissa Kasolowsky and Mark Potter)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

Maria D. Ervin