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Premier calls for administrative streamlining

Updated: May 9,2016 9:10 PM

The government will speed up the transformation of government functions, streamline administrations and provide more conveniences to people, Premier Li Keqiang said at a May 9 telecommunication conference on streamlining administration, combining power delegation with enhanced supervision and optimizing services.

He said complicated and rigid administration will lead to economic stagnation, while simplified management will bring prosperity to the country.

China will promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation, speed up developing the new economy and create new driving engines to bring vigor to the economy by simplifying the administrations, he said.

Government this term has completely cancelled non-administrative approvals in China and the country’s ranking in business conveniences has increased 12 places within two years, the Premier said, citing a report from the World Bank.

He said the approval items at the central government level decreased 76 percent and that more than 95 percent of approvals of the foreign investment projects and 98 percent of outbound investment can be approved online. Eighty-five percent of the approval items have been cancelled for business owners before they received business licenses, he added.

Many countries have put forward policies to attract foreign investment, and if China does not release a response plan, not only is it possible that the downward pressure of foreign trade will not change, but the employment situation could be affected, the Premier said.

The key for reform in the administration of foreign trade is to create a more attractive business environment that is internationalized. It should reduce systematic costs and create and upgrade China’s new advantages in international competitions, he said.

He said companies welcome the government’s tax cut reform, and they also hope the government streamlines administrations and delegates powers.

The reform to streamline administrations and delegate powers is to reduce systematic expenses. If streamlining administration measures can’t be fully achieved to cut systematic costs, companies’ expenses will not be reduced either, which would affect China’s economic upgrade to the middle and high-end, the Premier said.

He also added that there are three standards to measure the effectiveness of the reform: the time it takes to set up a company, the time needed for the approval of investment items and whether it is more convenient for citizens.

To better achieve reform results, the government this year will reduce more than 50 approval items at the State Council and local government levels; more than 70 percent of the vocational qualifications assessed by the State Council will be cancelled and a batch of production approvals, operation approvals and qualifications certificates will be cancelled. Approvals for investment projects at the central government level also will be reduced more than 90 percent.

Besides reform in government units, reform in the universities and scientific research institutions also will be promoted this year, the Premier said. He said all unreasonable regulations that limit scientific research will be eliminated or revised. Autonomy rights in funds allocation, results application, evaluation of professional titles, salaries, equipment purchase and setting courses will be delegated to the universities and scientific institutions themselves.

He also urged establishing power and responsibility lists for the departments under the State Council, testing the negative list of market access in the pilot areas and further reducing the items on the negative list.

The government should also speed up compilation of the list of administrative fees and make it public in a timely manner, the Premier said.

The government also should speed up making a random check list, a list of checked objects and a catalogue of the officials who will carry out the checks and help work out the regulations for random check work, the Premier urged.

Premier Li said that publicity and transparency are basic characteristics of modern government. The government will promote greater openness in government affairs in an all-around way and exercise power more transparently, he said. More effort should be made to promote government information to be open more to society. So far, 80 percent of the data resources in China are in the hand of governments and all levels, which is a severe waste of information resources, he added.

For a long period in the past, some departments and local governments, respectively, carried forward their information construction, which severely restricted government effectiveness and brought great convenience to both people and enterprises, the Premier said. Determination should be made to eliminate data barriers and realize information connectivity and sharing by governments at all levels, he added.

Duplicate law enforcement and examination, as well as multiple standards, will increase the burden for enterprises, the Premier said. The government will continue to promote administrative and law enforcement reform this year and establish a coordination mechanism for law enforcement.

The Premier said that the new economic development is different from that of a traditional economy. “We will encourage prudential supervision in the principle of innovation,” he said. Special regulation mode should be made for those new economies with good potential. However, for those perhaps without good potential, regulations shouldn’t be implemented so severely, the Premier said. Supervision should be strengthened for those with potential risk, and illegal businesses should be cancelled.

The Premier said we should promote various markets to compete fairly and all market entities can enter into industries that are not clearly forbidden by law. Those areas that are open or promised to be open to foreign capital should also be open to private capital at home; all barriers should be eliminated for private capital to enter into the market, the Premier said.

We should establish a market entrance negative list mechanism, and break restrictions and barriers for private capital to enter into sectors such as electricity, telecommunications, transportation, oil and gas, municipal utilities and education, the Premier said. We should firmly cancel additional terms and conditions especially set for private capital and protect the legal rights and interests for private capital, he added.

Reform to streamline administration, combine power delegation with enhanced supervision and optimized services is a self-revolution for government itself, the Premier said. The government should cut its power to bring more vitality to the market and creativity to society, he added.