China to deepen administrative reform
Updated: April 15, 2021 17:22

The General Office of the State Council, in a circular released on April 15, called for deepening the reform of government functions to help ensure stability on six fronts and security in six areas and promote high-quality development.

The reform involves efforts to streamline administration, delegate power, improve regulation and upgrade services.

Pragmatic and effective policies and reform measures should cover employment, market entities, consumption, foreign trade and investment, and people’s livelihoods, to enhance the sense of gain among businesses and people.

To create a more enabling environment for jobs seekers, the number of professions requiring government-approved licenses should be reduced, and those with less or no work experience should be allowed to attend exams related to some of those professions as appropriate.

Market access standards for micro and small-sized e-commerce operators should be improved, the circular said.

With proper standards and dynamic adjustment mechanism in place, subsidies should be available to support occupational skills training, and more training should be offered to those engaged in domestic services, elderly care, among other sectors.

Efforts should be made to remove hidden barriers against development of new industries and business models to boost employment in more areas and through more channels.

Key groups, including college graduates, veterans and migrant workers returning to their hometown, should get support from fiscal, taxation and financial policies for starting businesses and finding jobs.

To lessen burdens on enterprises, review procedures for tax refunds from the treasury should be optimized intelligently and automatically, and businesses should have easier access to preferential tax and fees policies through simplified process and formalities.

The circular urged developing credit investigation agencies to collect credit information to allow financial and social insurance policies to reach more eligible businesses, and become more targeted and more effective.

While urging enterprises to establish and improve compliance systems, regulators should investigate and deal with monopolies according to laws and introduce stringent crackdowns on pricing violations.

The circular also called for a competitive system for intermediary industry services to provide better services with reasonable pricing and a lower threshold.

It also stressed building a more open certification market with fair and orderly competition, and moving more business-related services online.

The guideline urged related departments to speed up investment approvals by simplifying and integrating procedures. And the approval process for major investment projects in fields such as transportation, water conservancy and energy should be optimized.

Reform of the construction project approval system will go further, and the national unified construction project approval and management system will get refined.

The circular also outlines measures to tap into consumption potential.

To foster a domestic market that is efficient, standardized and fair for competition, efforts should be made to break any industry monopoly, combat local protection and remove impediments to economic circulation, it said.

For example, the review of Measures for Regulating Second-hand Vehicles should be accelerated, to press local authorities to clean up illegal restrictions on non-local second-hand vehicles and to facilitate second-hand vehicle trading.

In addition, for new technologies and products in great demand, fast procedures and simplified standard revisions will be adopted to shorten their time of going on the market.

The scope of pilot cities for cross-border e-commerce retail imports will be further expanded, with the goods list increased.

Foreign trade and investment should be stabilized with continuous efforts, according to the outline.

The system of pre-entry national treatment plus a negative list management for foreign investment should be improved, to ensure foreign companies can receive supportive policies equally. They are also encouraged to participate more in the national and industrial standard formulation.

The customs risk control system should be refined as well to decrease the inspection ratio of low-risk commodities and companies obeying laws.

The guideline said that better services should be provided to improve people’s livelihoods.

Social capital and professional institutions should be encouraged to operate State-owned nursing homes, and the ranking system for vocational healthcare service institutions should be canceled to facilitate their market entry.

Big data and other information technologies can be applied to build a mechanism that is able to find people in need and make adjustments accordingly, to make sure qualified groups receive assistance in a timely manner.

It also urged related departments to build and improve the administrative data sharing and coordinating system, to strengthen information sharing and certify mutual recognition. Credit supervision will be improved, and the notification-commitment system will be adopted widely, so that fewer certificates will be required.

Traditional service modes should be reserved along with innovation of smart services, to avoid obstacles that certain groups, including the elderly, may face.

The government should turn its priority from pre-approvals to supervision, it said, adding that the national unified online supervision platform should be refined to boost information sharing and raise the quality and efficiency of supervision.

The sense of gain and satisfaction of enterprises and the public will always be the criteria for judging the reforms, the outline stressed.

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