China denies rumors about not cutting taxes and fees

FILE PHOTO: A Chinese official adjusts a Chinese flag before the start of a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, India, December 21, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s cabinet financial oversight body said on Friday that online rumors about a decision to be made by the Central Economic Work Conference not to cut taxes and fees are wrong.

“We have noticed rumors on the internet that the Central Economic Working Conference has decided not to cut taxes or fees. This is contrary to the facts,” the Financial Stability and Development Committee (FSDC)’s office said in a terse statement published on the central bank’s website.

China aims to cut at least 1.3 trillion yuan in taxes and fees this year and officials have pledged more aggressive reductions in 2019, spurring a debate among Chinese economists on whether Beijing should expand its fiscal deficit ratio beyond 3 percent next year.

Reuters has reported that the annual Central Economic Work Conference, a closed-door gathering of top party leaders and policymakers, is expected to be held this week.

On Thursday, the FSDC said China will reduce administration intervention in capital markets, which retain longer-term investment value despite recent ructions.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Kevin Yao; Editing by Shri Navaratnam