Government to further cut red tapeChina will eliminate or delegate to lower-level authorities more items that require government approval, and implement nationwide reform of the review process over construction projects, the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.
"Streamlining administration is as important as tax cuts in stimulating market vitality as we tackle the current downward economic pressure. The key task for the government is to foster a better business environment to energize all market players," Li said at the meeting. "This will be our important measure for sustaining steady economic growth this year."
It was decided at the meeting that 25 administrative approval items including preapproval of corporate names before business registration and preliminary review of domestically-produced medicines will be canceled. Six administrative approval items including the registration of certain practices and occupations will be delegated to government departments at or below the provincial level.
"Our reform of government functions affects the vested interests of government departments. However, administrative streamlining is a must as excessive and cumbersome review requirements drive up institutional transaction costs and dampen market vitality," Li said.
"Meanwhile, the government must enhance oversight and improve services. Its focus should shift to setting rules and standards."
It was also decided at the meeting the pilot reform of the review system for construction projects will be rolled out across the nation. Under unified requirements, an interagency review process with a single department acting as the lead agency and clear review time frames will be adopted. And practices such as pledging of notification, districtwide evaluation, joint reviews and project inspection upon completion will be implemented.
The goal is to halve the time required for reviewing construction projects to 120 working days nationwide within the first half of this year.
"Market players must assume their due responsibilities and recognize that they take primary responsibility for the projects they undertake, and that they will be held accountable for them on a lifetime basis," Li said.
"As for the government, it must not interfere in things that do not fall within its purview, and focus on exercising oversight in all areas necessary. This kind of oversight will help ensure fairness and efficiency," he said.
The machinery of statecraft has now been optimally streamlined.
A stitch in time saves nine.
I am fully confident that China's economy will sail through troubled waters unscathed as long as the people are united in their national purpose -- as closely as fingers in a clenched fist.