China's top legislature wraps up bimonthly session
Li Zhanshu (C, rear), chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, speaks at the closing meeting of a bimonthly session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 31, 2018. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
BEIJING, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) closed its five-day bimonthly session Friday, adopting laws on e-commerce, soil pollution prevention, and individual income tax.
President Xi Jinping signed presidential decrees to release the laws.
Presiding over the closing meeting, Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said that the legislation on soil pollution prevention and control is a major task decided by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, calling for efforts to protect the environment with the legal force and win the fight against pollution.
Li said members of the NPC Standing Committee fully recognized the work on drafting individual books of the civil code, stressing continued in-depth deliberation.
Legislators said the State Council and related authorities should earnestly implement the CPC Central Committee's decisions and plans on the economy, ensuring the annual economic and social development goals will be achieved, he said.
Li asked the State Council to formulate coordinated regulations to enable individual income tax to better play its role in adjusting income distribution and boosting the economy.
Li said the NPC Standing Committee should uphold the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC over advancing law-based governance in all areas, shoulder due missions and responsibilities in the process, as well as fully perform functions as stipulated in the Constitution and the law.
Li called on the NPC Standing Committee to improve legislation efficiency and the Chinese socialist system of laws.
The revised individual income tax law states that the minimum threshold for personal income tax exemption will be raised from 3,500 yuan (about 513 U.S. dollars) to 5,000 yuan per month or 60,000 yuan per year.
It adds special expense deductions for items like caring for the elderly, children's education, continuing education, treatment for serious diseases, as well as housing loan interest and rent.
The revised e-commerce law will protect legal rights and interests of all parties and maintain the market order, requiring all e-commerce operators to fulfill their obligations to protect consumers' rights and interests as well as personal information, intellectual property rights, cyberspace security and the environment.
According to the new law on soil pollution prevention, national standards for soil pollution risk control will be set by the environmental authority of the State Council based on soil's contamination status, public health risks and ecological risks, among others.
The law also states that a nationwide soil condition census should be conducted at least once every 10 years.
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The legislators reviewed bills on the draft farmland occupation taxes law and draft vehicle purchase taxes law, as well as State Council reports including the enforcement of the national economic and social development plan this year.
At the closing meeting, lawmakers also voted to approve a treaty of extradition between China and Barbados.
Li also presided over a chairpersons' meeting of the NPC Standing Committee, during which they heard draft decisions on e-commerce, soil pollution prevention, and individual income tax and decided to put the decisions to a vote at the closing meeting.
After the session concluded, Li presided over a lecture on compiling the individual books of the civil code.