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China streamlines administrative procedures

Wang Qingyun and Li Xiaokun
Updated: Aug 20,2014 6:11 PM

The central government made further strides on Aug 19 in streamlining administrative procedures to encourage the establishment of new companies and investment.

It is necessary to take “strong measures” to clear obstacles against streamlining administrative procedures and to make the market more free, the central government said in a circular issued after an executive meeting of the State Council held on Aug 19.

The conference, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, decided to cancel 68 administrative approvals and decentralize another 19 to local governments. This, according to the circular, will benefit companies and the market.

The central government said it is going to lower the threshold for entities such as for-profit health institutions and rest homes, so that they don’t have to wait until they go through all of the administrative approval steps conducted by various government departments before they can apply for a business license.

It said 90 administrative approvals are no longer required for people to get a business license to set up a company - they can get the approvals after they set up their company. And the government will focus on supervision of the market instead of restricting entry.

It also said it has decided to cancel 19 types of reviews, tests or appraisals - carried out by the government and non-government organizations.

The central government has also decided to cancel a batch of certifications issued by the government or associations, so that startups will face less restrictions.

Even though the economic situation is complicated and there is a huge downward pressure, the employment rate in the country has remained stable due to efforts to streamline and decentralize administrative power - and also due to efforts to reform the system of industry and commerce registration, which led to the establishment of 6 million companies, and thus created about 10 million jobs, Li said during the meeting.

He said the ultimate goal of stabilizing growth is to create employment opportunities for the country’s citizens, and streamlining and decentralizing administrative power has contributed a great deal to the establishment of start-up businesses

“The government controls too many things that it should not be controlling,” he also said.

The conference also brought forth proposals to spur growth in China’s science and technology service industries.

Govt vows to continue quake relief

The central government also asked relevant parties to keep up disaster relief efforts in Ludian in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, following the magnitude-6.5 earthquake which rocked the county on Aug 3, killing 617 people.

Participants in the executive meeting on Tuesday paid silent tribute to the victims following Li’s suggestion.

The central government asked that relevant parties should work to minimize the impact of the disaster on people’s health, offer psychological counseling, and prevent major epidemics.

The participants said the authorities should also offer long-term assistance to residents who have lost their homes, source of income or who do not have the ability to rebuild their lives. The central government asked relevant parties to ensure that people receive tents and other items to protect themselves from the elements, and to make sure that survivors are not affected by aftershocks or other geological disasters.

The government should also repair roads, restore water supply, electricity and telecommunication, and set up temporary prefabricated facilities for schools so that students can start the school year.

Li also said the number of casualties - and also the economic losses and damage to infrastructure - have exceeded estimates.

And he added that relevant parties should assess the reconstruction projects in a professional manner, and should not sacrifice quality for the sake of speed, saying that the projects “should stand the test of time.”