China will open up the million-dollar market of organizing commercial and mass sporting events, a move that will scrap the two-decades-old rule requiring government approval for such events and encourage more private investors in the State-dominated industry.
The decision, made at the State Council’s executive meeting on Sept 2, is expected to “unburden enterprises to the utmost and give vitality to all kinds of sporting resources”, according to a statement released on Sept 3.
Currently, all sporting events are subject to the approval of China’s General Administration of Sport and its local bureaus. These sports watchdogs charge fees based on an event’s importance and ability to attract advertisers.
The meeting also called for opening the broadcasting of sporting events to more media companies. Broadcasts now are dominated by the State-run China Central Television.
Local governments were also asked on Sept 2 to “tightly grab the reins” of their debts to conform to the recently revised Budget Law, which provides for tougher supervision on government income and spending.
Local governments can issue bonds according to the stipulations, and they should also “properly handle existing debts, while ensuring the funding of ongoing projects”, according to the statement released on Sept 3.
They were also asked for a complete and open budget to include all kinds of revenue, which is in reality divided into budgetary and non-budgetary income, to eliminate the opportunity for misuse.
All the departments funded by revenues should open their budgets except in certain confidentiality cases.
Secretly owned coffers in publicly funded organs will be cleaned up, and misappropriation and misuse of revenues will be punished, the statement said.
In 2014, China’s fiscal revenue is budgeted at 13.9 trillion yuan ($2.26 trillion), and government spending was to be more than 15 trillion yuan. Revenues are expanding at nearly twice the rate of GDP growth.
China’s local government debts amounted to about 12 trillion yuan by the middle of last year, according to official estimates.