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China extends tax breaks to boost agriculture

Two existing tax breaks for financial institutions will be extended until the end of 2016 to boost financial support for the Chinese agricultural sector, said the Chinese State Council.

After a regular meeting chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday, the Chinese parliament said in a statement: “The continued preferential policy is critical to food security… and modernising the sector.”

Banks’ revenues from small loans to the agricultural sector of no more than RMB100,000 (US$16,248) will be exempt from sales tax, the statement said. The previous policy set the sales tax exemption as applying to loans below RMB50,000.

Additionally, insurance companies will enjoy a 10-percent discount on corporate income tax applicable to the premiums they charge for crop insurance, the council added.

In the Wednesday meeting, the Chinese Government also decided to extend gradually and nationally measures piloted in the Zhongguancun National Innovation Demonstration Zone in Beijing. They include new rules on research funding and on equity financing for small enterprises.