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China to deepen reform of government functions and raise service capacity for business and public

Wang Keju
Updated: Dec 15,2020 22:31

China will optimize government service hotlines, improve the efficiency and capacity of government services for businesses and individuals, and implement unified registration for pledge of movable property and rights to facilitate pledge financing for businesses, the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Dec 14.

Government service hotlines are directly oriented to businesses and the public, and serve as an important channel to report problems, make suggestions, facilitate government decision-making and help solve public service issues. They have played a positive role in addressing pressing concerns for enterprises and people in recent years.

The meeting decided that going forward, regarding the large numbers of government service hotlines and inconvenience in accessing services, service hotlines will be optimized in keeping with the requirements of deepening reform of government functions.

Subnational governments, especially governments at county and city levels, should fulfill due responsibilities for non-emergency hotlines related to enterprises and people. Service hotlines set up by governments at subnational levels and those established by related departments of the State Council and operated at local levels should be merged, wherever possible, into one unified number. This is part of the single window service. Competent departments of the State Council should guide localities in optimizing their hotlines.

Optimized hotlines should be convenient for people to access. Procedures and resource allocation should be refined, and technical support should be strengthened to better align hotline operations with related handling services. A sound mechanism to efficiently deal with complaints, as well as monitoring and accountability mechanisms, should be established to see that problems and reasonable demands raised by businesses and people are properly handled in a timely manner, and to ensure that government service hotlines can be swiftly accessed, public concerns are more accurately referred to relevant departments and things are done efficiently.

“We have been working hard to transform government functions and make it easier for businesses and people to get things done,” Premier Li said. “Regarding hotline operations and case handling, multi-level targeted approaches should be adopted, and due responsibilities specified, with great attention paid to localities at city and county levels. Guidance from competent departments should be stepped up.”

It was decided at the meeting that unified registration for pledge of movable property and rights will be implemented nationwide starting Jan 1, 2021, to further improve the business environment and facilitate the financial sector to better serve the real economy — micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in particular.

In recent years, pilot programs in unified registration for pledge of movable property and rights have been carried out in some provinces and cities, to facilitate enterprise’ pledge financing. Privately owned firms and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises accounted for more than 95 percent of new pledge registrations, and their share of financing took up over 80 percent.

Registration responsibility for pledge of production equipment, raw materials, semi-finished products, and product mortgages previously undertaken by the State Administration for Market Regulation, and registration responsibility for pledge of accounts receivables, deposits and financing lease, as well as factoring by People’s Bank of China, will all be assumed by the latter. Internet-based services will be provided 24/7.

Those that have already completed registration for pledge of movable property and rights will not be required to register again. Related departments should properly handle follow-up work such as data transfer of inventory information. New registrations should be applied by relevant parties through the unified registration and notification system, and they will be held accountable for the authenticity, completeness and legality of the application. Registration departments will not conduct substantive review of the registration content.

The unified registration system will enable financial institutions to get a full picture of movable property and rights information and enhance their readiness to provide pledge financing to enterprises.

“Unified registration for pledge of movable property and rights requires the financial system to strengthen and improve management services for enterprises, and will play a positive role in easing the burden on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and in facilitating pledge financing. The financial system must make great efforts to improve services,” Premier Li said.

The meeting also adopted draft revisions to the Regulation on Business Name Registration and Administration, to refine basic norms and put in place an application system for corporate names where applicants can choose a corporate name that meets requirements and pledge to bear legal responsibility for any name infringements.

Both deregulation and oversight will be stepped up. Registration departments should enhance compliance oversight, and refuse to register or correct any corporate names inconsistent with the requirements. Disputes over corporate names may be settled through lawsuits in accordance with the law or mediated and decided by registration departments.

“Corporate name registration should facilitate fair competition and independent business operations within the confines of the law,” Premier Li said.