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Legislature to Vote on Increasing Individual Income Tax Threshold

A draft amendment to the law on individual income tax, which proposes to raise China's monthly individual income tax levy threshold from the current 1,600 yuan (US$217.69) to 2,000 yuan, is expected to be put to a vote on Saturday.

It was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, for deliberation on Dec. 23. The amendment was expected to be effective on March 1 next year.

Based on the suggestions of members of the NPC Standing Committee, the NPC's Law Committee had proposed a draft resolution on the draft amendment.

Yang Jingyu, NPC Law Committee chairman, delivered an explanation of the draft resolution to lawmakers on Friday.

The individual income tax threshold increase was believed to be "necessary and timely" to relieve the economic burden of medium- and low-income earners amid the recent price increase of some goods.

"The threshold could be readjusted in the future according to legislative procedures and reality," Yang said.

The 31st session of the 10th NPC Standing Committee started on Sunday and runs through Saturday.

In addition, six bills -- draft laws on labor dispute mediation and arbitration, drug control, draft resolutions to the Law on Road Transportation Safety, the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law and the Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics, and a draft revision of the Law on Science and Technology Progress -- were also expected to be put to a vote at the end of the session.

On science and technology progress, lawmakers said the draft amendment was "relatively mature" after deliberation and revisions, according to Yang.

However, some NPC Standing Committee members suggested add one item into the regulations: "The government encourages and supports basic research on agricultural technology and should increase input on innovation in agriculture."

(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2007)

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