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Reducing production licenses will help manufacturers compete

Updated: Jun 15,2017 7:18 AM

Premier Li Keqiang said that government should take on more responsibilities following a decision to cancel or delegate the production licenses for some industrial products at the State Council executive meeting on June 14.

Nineteen categories of products will no longer require manufacturing licenses. Some will be replaced by the China Compulsory Certification, and the licensing authority for another eight categories of products will be delegated to provincial-level quality supervision departments, the meeting decided.

“Related departments should strengthen supervision, so that enterprises can shed burdens thanks to the reform, while consumers’ rights can be ensured,” the Premier stressed.  

At a teleconference a day earlier, Premier Li talked about the complaints by some enterprises during his inspection tours. “A factory that makes pig feed told me that although they had gotten production permits, officials still made trouble by asking questions such as, ‘What kinds of pigs are the pig feed for, big or small ones?’, and they even demanded the recipe!”

At the executive meeting, he mentioned another case - an electric appliance manufacturer reported that they have to apply for two different permits for their big refrigerators and small ones, although they use almost the same technology and materials.

“I’ve heard too many stories like this,” the Premier said. “We have too many permits in the manufacturing industry with many departments involved. These overlapping permits add heavy loads to enterprises, thus hindering the development of the whole industry.”

Premier Li has repeatedly asked for an overhaul of the production licensing system. At a teleconference in October last year, he hailed the experiments in largely reducing industrial production approvals that was conducted in Suqian city, Jiangsu province.

At the teleconference on June 13, he asked for “50 percent more licenses to be cut this year”. And at the next day’s executive meeting, a bunch of production licenses were canceled or simplified.

The Premier said that with continued efforts in recent years, categories of industrial production licensing have been reduced from 487 to 60, and the pre-review procedure has been greatly streamlined.

But there are still almost 1,000 types of licenses, and many departments are issuing redundant licenses, he added.

The 60 categories will be further decreased to 38, according to the meeting. Premier Li also urged strictly implementing international standards in compulsory certification, which should not turn into more red tape.

In the end, he urged all government departments to change their management mode. “By deepening reform on streamlining administration, delegating power and improving service, we can ease the burden on enterprises and create a more convenient business environment to propel Chinese products and economy to a higher level.”