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Shanghai to cancel restrictions to resume work, introduce policies to support economy

SHANGHAI: Shanghai authorities will cancel many conditions for businesses to resume work from Wednesday, a city official said on Sunday, easing a city-wide lockdown that began some two months ago, and will also introduce policies to support its battered economy.

China’s commercial hub of Shanghai reported a broad decline in its economy last month as COVID-19 outbreaks prompted stringent restrictions and lockdowns, impacting manufacturing to retail sales and its property sector.

Now, the city government will revise guidelines for epidemic prevention and control of returning to work, cancel “unreasonable restrictions” on the resumption of work and production for enterprises and remove a “white-list,” Vice Mayor Wu Qing told a news briefing, referring to a list of companies that are allowed to resume work.

City officials said the measures to boost the economy aimed to help enterprises and promote consumption.

They include accelerating the issuance and use of local government bonds, asking banks to renew loans for small and medium sized enterprises and establishing a green channel for approving real estate projects.

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

All these measures, combined with others that were rolled-out at the end of March, is estimated to reduce over 300 billion yuan ($44.8 billion) of financial burden as a result of the pandemic for market players for the full year, said Hua Yuan, deputy secretary general of Shanghai’s municipal government.

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

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

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