Premier Li Keqiang and four vice-premiers at a media briefing at the close of the annual National People's Congress on Tuesday. Photo: Xinhua

In order to ease the financing difficulties of private and small companies, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to lower the average interest rate of major commercial bank lending to small and micro-sized enterprises by 1% in Q4, The Paper reported.

“The demand for loans from enterprises is very strong, but the problem is that private enterprises with demand, especially small and micro enterprises, cannot borrow money, and banks not only have strict conditions for granting loans, but also are afraid of taking risks and responsibility,” said Li during the State Council executive meeting.

The next step, according to Li, is for the government to increase support for private and small and micro enterprises, and treat them equally with state-owned enterprises.

It is necessary to broaden the financing channels and encourage banks to lend, mainly by guiding the latter to relax the credit granting right, linking internal assessment and salary with the loan business, Li said.

Li also promised to correct banks which cut the lending unreasonably, and also to simplify the financing processes and reduce additional costs.