China acted for the first time this year to steady its stumbling economy by cutting taxes for small firms on Wednesday and announcing plans to speed up the construction of railway lines.
The Chinese cabinet said after its weekly meeting that it will accelerate the construction of rail projects that have been approved, and increase the total length of lines being laid this year by 18 percent compared to 2013.
The government also said it would lower tax rates for smaller companies by relaxing the criteria that allows them to halve their income taxes. This policy will be extended to the end of 2016, the government said.
The measures mark the first concrete action being taken by China this year to boost its economy, and come after Premier Li Keqiang last week sought to reassure jittery markets that Beijing was ready to provide support.
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