BEIJING, April 29 China's Finance Ministry said
on Tuesday that it would extend tax breaks for job creation, as
the government seeks to boost the labour market, while the
banking regulator warned slowing economic growth raised the risk
of bad loans.
Beijing has repeatedly stressed that employment is the
government's main priority and economists say it is the top
factor that could trigger large-scale stimulus measures if the
world's second-biggest economy continues to lose momentum.
China's economic growth dipped to an 18-month low of 7.4
percent in the first quarter, with exports, investment and
credit all pointing to a weak showing and fanning concerns about
pressures on the job market.
The Finance Ministry said it would extend for another three
years tax break measures to companies that create new jobs and
for people who start their own firms.
The government has unveiled a number of steps to boost
employment, including extending tax breaks for entrepreneurs to
the end of 2016 and broadened to include all industries and
types of workers.
The government has pledged to create 85 million jobs in
urban and rural areas between 2012 and 2015 while holding the
jobless rate below 5 percent, underscoring its resolve to stave
off any unrest that may flare up as China's economy slows.
Separately, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said on
its website that banks needed to take steps to protect
themselves from the risks associated with loan repayments,
particularly to problems in the real estate market and from
local government financing vehicles.
"Our country's economy is still going through a period of
pain, of changes in growth and structural re-adjustment," it
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Susan Fenton)