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China to simplify approval procedures for construction projects

Updated: May 18,2018 5:03 PM

The State Council decided to start a pilot program to simplify the approval system for construction projects in China, according to a release on May 18.

The reform will cover the whole process of construction approvals for residential buildings and city infrastructure, not including key projects in transportation, water conservancy and energy sectors. Measures will be piloted in 15 regions, including East China’s Zhejiang province, Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

According to the release, approval times will be reduced from over 200 workdays to 120 this year, and the move will be promoted nationwide in the first half of next year.

The government plans to streamline approval procedures into four parts, namely, land use permits, engineering and construction approvals, and final acceptance upon completion. Category-specific management and joint-agency approvals will also be introduced.

For detailed approval procedures, the State Council urged eliminating unnecessary items, delegating power to the lower levels, adopting an inter-agency approach for simultaneous site inspections, mapping, surveying and drawing inspections by competent authorities.

It also asked government departments to improve the approval system, implementing coordinated management, providing all-around services, integrating the application materials and regulating the approval process.

Supervision will also be strengthened. The State Council urged strengthening supervision, setting up a credit system for enterprises and individuals, and regulating intermediary and city public services.

Local governments in the pilot regions were urged to map out detailed plans of their own and report them to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development by June 15. The ministry will be in charge of evaluating local performance, compiling local experiences and reporting them to the State Council.