Premier Li Keqiang stressed that the government should focus on deepening administrative reform to simplify approval procedures at a teleconference held on June 13 on streamlining administration, combining power delegation with enhanced supervision and optimizing services.
To achieve these results, he said China should change the traditional government management system based on administrative approvals and eliminate room for rent-seeking and illegal profit-making while reforming related functions.
Premier Li said then the government at all levels will be able to minimize approval procedures, enhance regulation and services, create a fair market, and promote modern governance, which is a self-imposed revolution.
The first point of administrative reform is to eradicate the government’s excessive authority and cut administrative approval items which come from the former system of centralized planned economy. Some government departments still continue to put emphasis on approval procedures and less on supervision and service.
The logic of streamlining administration, delegating power to lower-levels and optimizing services, in line with the policy of reform and opening-up adopted since 1978, transforms government’s function from micro-and-direct management to macro-and-supervisory management.
The second point on “reform” is to cut “improper interests” derived from government power. Some government organs have so much administrative approval power that it is no surprise to see power rent-seeking and corruption.
Such excessive power and the difficulty in getting administrative approval also results in different kinds of intermediary services, which might create improper or unlawful interests.
Thus, streamlining administration, delegating power to lower-levels and optimizing services is an ultimate solution, as it directly cuts off unnecessary power.
The power reduction will inevitably touch “cakes” of some government organs. To relieve the market and stimulate creativity, the pain must be endured.
The third point about reform is to change the stereotype of government practices, in which government officials sit in an office waiting for people to submit documents for administrative approval.
As the Premier has mentioned many times, the National Development and Reform Commission sets a good example of such changes. Instead of focusing on administrative approvals it concentrated on post-approval supervision, which is in fact more effective.