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Companies Need a Bigger Say in Regulation of Enterprise-related Fees



By Xiang Anbo, DRC


Recently, the reduction of fees has once again been boosted to the top agenda at meetings held by the Standing Committee of the State Council. It has been made clear that relevant departments in the State Council need to take the lead in further clearing and lowering enterprise-related fees with greater determination, and introduce as soon as possible a batch of systematic fee-clearing measures for real effects in the long term.

First, arbitrary charges will bring a larger stir to corporate operation. If taxation is designated in the form of law, businesses can prepare payment in advance in a proactive and responsive manner whereas arbitrary charges are collected somewhat illegally, which is detrimental to stable operation and long-term performance of companies. Compared with tax reduction, it would be easier to implement measures relating to fee cuts; yet efforts need to be made to strengthen coordination, regulation and administration so as to resolve issues such as unauthorized charges by different departments.

Second, more efforts need to be made to further streamline administration and delegate powers to lower-level governments as well as to invigorate the innate growth drivers of companies. A way for improvement of self-restraint for government conduct is to establish the system of lists and catalogs of fees, which serves as a smooth channel for information disclosure and transparency in government affairs. In addition, it will enable enterprises to better address future uncertainties, make budget plans, and learn how to protect their legal interests and rights.

Third, the most effective fee-cutting method is to let the burden-alleviation system effectively operate by way of applying the supervisor system for reducing corporate burdens, that has been proven effective in some localities. Besides, the government needs to establish an appeal and complaint mechanism relating to corporate burdens, smooth the communication channels for corporate burden-alleviation, and solicit opinions and suggestions from enterprises while making policies related to taxation and fees.