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China to "carefully study" tax policies


08:28, January 16, 2013

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd L) shakes hands with staff members during an inspection tour to the Ministry of Finance in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 15, 2013. (Xinhua/Liu Jiansheng)

BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday that the government will carefully study reforms of the property tax system and tax policies that will optimize income distribution.

During an inspection tour at the Ministry of Finance, Wen said the reforms are the two biggest tax-oriented reforms to be tackled in the medium- and long-term.

To promote the sustainable and healthy development of the real estate market, Wen said the government will gradually establish a property tax system that covers property transactions and ownership.

Short-term tasks will include resource tax reforms and the expansion of a pilot program that replaces the business tax with a value-added tax, he said.

Wen said the government's fiscal policies should adapt to changing situations and better support national economic and social development while improving people's livelihoods.

Wen urged the ministry to improve macroeconomic regulations, prioritize the improvement of people's livelihoods and stick to reform and innovation.

A property tax in the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing was introduced on a trial basis in 2011 as part of efforts to cool the real estate market.

The government has extended value-added tax reforms to nine provincial regions on a trial basis after they were first launched in Shanghai last year.

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