A draft of regulations enforcing the Government Procurement Law was passed by China’s cabinet, the State Council, on Dec 31.
The regulations are part of China’s efforts to build a cleaner government ruled by law, according to a statement released after the meeting, which was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.
A transparent and strict mechanism for government procurement will help to root out corruption and further regulate the government’s power, the statement said.
“Bidding procedure is an important part of government procurement,” said Zhan Zhongle, a law professor at Peking University.
“The new regulations will boost the fairness and transparency of government procurement,” he said.
The draft stipulates that governments must make public their procurement contracts through the media and make the bidding results known to the public.
Zhan said the regulations will also help to make good use of public funds, as the procurement process always involves large sums.
China spent about 1.64 trillion yuan ($264.5 billion) on government procurement in 2013, an increase of 17.2 percent over the previous year, according to the Ministry of Finance.
At the meeting on Dec 31 it was decided that the government will delegate administrative approvals on tax refunds to the county level for manufacturing companies engaged in exports, a move that will further open China’s economy and sustain the growth of foreign trade.
Such approvals for foreign trade enterprises will also be delegated once approved.
The State Council also discussed the implementation of the Interim Measures for Social Assistance at the meeting, and decided to make more efforts to improve the livelihoods of people living in poverty.
The central government has allocated more than 90 billion yuan to subsidize those in need and it is offering them medical assistance, as well as another 7.1 billion yuan to temporarily relieve residents affected by natural disasters in winter and spring.