Electric-car buyers to get tax exemption

Updated: 2014-07-10 07:24

By He Wei in Shanghai and Hu Yuanyuan in Beijing (China Daily)

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China will exempt electric-car buyers from purchase taxes as part of expanded State measures to boost sales of the vehicles, an executive meeting of the State Council said on Wednesday.

From Sept 1 to the end of 2017, the government will waive the auto-purchase tax for new-energy vehicles, which in China refers to all electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles, said the meeting, led by Premier Li Keqiang.

The development of such vehicles is critically important for easing China's energy dependency, combating air pollution, spurring local demand and nurturing the auto industry, the meeting said.

The incentives will be a win-win scenario for the sector, as it nurtures the local auto industry and protects the environment, the meeting said.

New-energy vehicles are important for China's energy independence, so Beijing will "devote more resources to promoting them", said Cai Linlin, a senior auto analyst in Shanghai.

"The waiver is beyond expectations, as the government is expected to roll out a string of policies before EV sales pick up," Cai said.

China now has about 70,000 new-energy vehicles on the road after five years of promotion, a far cry from the central government's call for reaching 500,000 by 2015.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet meeting pointed out that the insurance sector, as a focus for the development of the service industry, has huge growth potential. Qualified insurance institutions will be encouraged to invest in the aging industry and take part in the integration of healthcare services, according to the meeting.

So far, several insurers have announced plans to build senior living communities at a total cost of 200 billion yuan ($32 billion), industry figures show.

Taikang Life Insurance Co, for example, plans to spend 100 billion yuan in the next five to eight years to build 15 to 20 elder-care communities across the country.

Sunshine Life Insurance Co has set up a hospital in Shandong province. The total investment will be 2.5 billion yuan, with Sunshine Life taking a more than 50 percent stake. The hospital, expected to open in 2015, will be the country's first to be launched by an insurer, a local hospital and a medical college.

Meanwhile, the catastrophic-insurance system will be gradually established, and liability insurance relating to environmental pollution, food safety and medical-risk management will be carried out in a pilot program, the meeting said.

The insurance sector's openness will be further strengthened by the introduction of overseas techniques and exporting of more insurance services. An exit system for insurers will also be established.