China should further expand private investment in social sectors, spurring new supply to satisfy public demands, said Premier Li Keqiang at the State Council executive meeting on Feb 22.
The meeting decided to further relax restrictions on private investment to boost market vigor, shore up weak links and benefit the public.
This is the third time in six months that the Premier highlighted the importance of private investment.
He encouraged introducing more private investment in education, medical care and elderly care during a working conference with the heads of provincial, regional and city governments in July 2016. And at the State Council executive meeting on Oct 8, the Premier urged further streamlining approval procedures for social investment.
Further efforts should be made to expand the reform on delegating power, lowering the systematic costs and introducing more private investment in the social sectors, said the Premier at the latest State Council executive meeting.
“People’s demands in non-essential services, which are mostly provided by social investment, have increased a lot, while the restrictions on social investment limited their entrance,” said Premier Li.
Expanding private investment not only has significance for driving consumption and improving people’s lives, but also helps stabilize society and increase employment, he said.
“In the past, China has attached great importance to industrial fields and infrastructure, but now we are paying more attention to advanced manufacturing and fundamental facilities in key fields and weak links,” said the Premier.
The Premier also stressed that approval procedures for private service agencies should happen simultaneously. No department should require the approval from another department as a precondition.
“I heard that someone wants to run a nursing home, but the approval procedures were denied by related departments, and became a chicken-and-egg question. It took investors several years but only ended in no results. We must solve the problem, once and for all!”
Social sectors are mainly service industries, but for quite a long time, supervision has been focusing on the products market, and a supervision system for the service market is not in place. “Related departments should lower thresholds while strengthening supervision, creating a fair environment for all market players,” said Premier Li.