25 administrative approvals to be scrapped
China will further reduce licensing red tape to promote the transformation of government functions and improve the business environment, the State Council decided at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Feb 20.
According to a statement released after the meeting, the government will cancel 25 administrative approval items, including preapproval of corporate names before business registration and the preliminary review of domestically produced medicines, in order to further invigorate the market. Another six administrative approval items, including registration to practice some professions, will be delegated to government departments at or below the provincial level.
A pilot reform of the review system for construction projects will also be rolled out across the nation. Under unified requirements, an interagency review process, with a single department acting as the lead agency, will be adopted for the inspection of plans and completed projects, with clear time frames for reviews.
The goal is to enable a single blueprint for overseeing the implementation of a project, a single window providing multiagency services, a single checklist for preparing application materials, and a single set of mechanisms for regulating the permit process, the statement said.
It said the government aims to halve the time required for reviews of construction projects to 120 working days across the country in the first half of this year.
Local authorities urged to listen to businesses
Local authorities and government department must heed advice from enterprises and industry associations before making regulations related to the operations of businesses, the State Council executive meeting on Feb 20 decided.
The move is an important measure to promote scientific and democratic decision-making and build a government that is in line with the rule of law, a statement released after the meeting said.
The authorities must learn about the concerns and demands of businesses before making regulations to ensure they are better targeted, the statement said.
During the regulation-making process, the authorities should solicit public opinion through various channels and heed the advice of typical businesses, it said.
During the implementation process, the authorities should set up a buffer period to leave enough time for businesses to implement new regulations.
The meeting also highlighted the importance of evaluations of policies and regulations after their implementation, and called for adjustments when necessary to improve the quality of government decision-making.
More encouragement for small-household farmers
China will step up support of small-household farmers and encourage their involvement in modern agriculture, according to a guideline published on Feb 21.
The guideline, jointly released by the general offices of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, also aims to speed up development of modern agriculture and facilitate the revitalization of rural areas.
It called for accelerated efforts to establish a policy system to support small-household farmers and to enhance social services for the agricultural sector.
More will be done to enhance the production capacities of small household-farmers and to open up more channels for them to increase their incomes, the guideline said. It also vowed to better protect farmers’ legitimate interests and enable them to share the outcomes of reform and development.
The government will offer policy incentives to encourage small-household farmers to expand production, provide training, step up research and the application of equipment and technologies that cater to their demands and improve rural infrastructure, the guideline said.
The country will also launch plans to cultivate family farms and guide such farms to adopt leading technologies and means of production, it said.
Small-household farmers will also receive support to develop new industries and business patterns in areas such as leisure tourism, catering, accommodation and nursing services, the guide added.