The fact that provinces such as Anhui, Hainan and Zhejiang have simplified over 40 percent of their administrative procedures shows the government’s determination to streamline administration and delegate powers, with the aim of further invigorating market and society.
New power stimulated by reforms
Hainan province’s reform concerning streamlining administration and delegating powers has been leading the way in China.
The local government has taken measures to gather assessing officers from various departments to work in one office under the administrative center. The policy has significantly simplified procedures for applicants seeking a regular administrative approval.
The province also took measures to shorten the process. For example, it now only takes a maximum of 37 days, instead of the previous 799 days, to acquire the government’s approval for a project involving construction investment.
Hainan province’s achievement is only a microcosm of nationwide reforms concerning streamlining administration and delegating powers. In 2014, Zhejiang province curtailed administrative powers sharply from 12,300 items to only 4,236. It also canceled the examination for items concerning non-administrative approval, and facilitated online applications for the examination and approval process.
Local governments have also taken various measures to advance the process of streamlining administration and delegating powers.
In Wuhu, Anhui province, parents of children who are about to finish primary school can now register for a middle school online. The Wuhu government has also created a special online service platform, which offers residents a total of 42 kinds of services related to education, social security, health care and housing.
The government has also opened a similar website for enterprises so as to facilitate their requirements concerning administrative approval, and the initiative is expected to be promoted in the whole of Anhui.
Additionally, Hainan province has issued standards to prevent abuse of power during the reform of administrative examination and approval.
‘A sense of acquisition’ for the market
Despite the remarkable achievements, many analysts said the current reform is a process prescribed by the central government, and that local governments will have to improve the specificity and efficiency of the process of delegation of powers.
Hu Zhaoshu, general manager of the Haikou Urban Construction Group Co Ltd, said the government needs to offer more original measures to consolidate this policy, with the aim of fine-tuning government services to better fit the requirements of enterprises.
Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute of Reform and Development, said the reform concerning streamlining administration and delegating powers has reached a crucial stage.
“On the one hand, the administrative approval system calls for further reforms to cut more examination and approval procedures, and reduce government intervention in microeconomic activities; on the other hand, the administrative approval is set to be separated from the market supervision so as to establish a supervisory system in accordance with the rule of law,” Chi said.
“The success of the reforms hinges on managing to inject the market with ‘a sense of acquisition’,” he added.