The government will further cut bureaucracy to boost investment and entrepreneurship, Premier Li Keqiang said on Oct 8 at an executive meeting of the State Council, China’s Cabinet.
The directory of investments needing government approval will again be shortened after it was revised last year, according to a statement from the meeting.
Fifteen investment projects, including urban roads, water supply and fertilizer will no longer need permission from the government before going ahead. Instead, they will have to file a record with the authority.
“Overseas investment projects will no longer need government approval, except for a few otherwise specified,” the statement said.
For 23 investment items still requiring approval, such as a general airport and power grid within a province, authority is delegated from the central government to local governments.
After the latest amendment, investment items needing approval from the central government will be 40 percent less than last year.
Li proposes measures to encourage investment
“Revising the directory will be conducive to releasing the potential of investment, and providing more room for innovation,” Li said. “It also helps to reduce the abuse of power and prevent corruption,” he added.
While giving more freedom to the market, the meeting on Oct 8 also urged more supervising measures to regulate the operation of investments, such as a credit file system for enterprises.
“We use both relaxation and supervision to create a fair competitive market environment, to stimulate investment and entrepreneurship,” Li said.
The move was the latest of a series of steps taken by the government to simplify administrative procedures, which reflects the main ideas of the top decision-makers to push forward reform.
“The Chinese government aims to establish a business environment, which is in line with international standards to facilitate investment and trade,” said Yuan Zhigang, head of the School of Economics at Fudan University in Shanghai.
Official data showed China’s fixed-asset investment growth in the private sector has dropped from 24.8 percent in 2012 to 20.1 percent in the first half of this year, which analysts said was a major reason for the entire economic growth declining from 7.8 percent to 7.4 percent in the same period.
To stimulate investment, the government has issued a series of policies such as introducing the negative list management system, and replacing the approval system with the recording system, Yuan said.
“These measures aim to straighten out the relationship between the government and the market,” Yuan said.
Also on Oct 8, Li listened to the reports by supervisors of major State-owned enterprises. While affirming the results in pushing forward reform, Li urged the SOEs to step up efforts in disclosing information and responding in a timely manner to the concerns of society.