Premier Li Keqiang criticized the overwhelming number of evaluations, required by various agencies before a business project can be started, during the State Council’s executive meeting on April 21.
“It takes way too many evaluations to start a project now. Environment, water, energy, safety, transportation, disasters, relics, thunder, weather. Nothing goes without an evaluation. Some people even make jokes about them.”
When the Premier inspected a water conservancy project he asked the person in charge why they had not started the project since both the money and land had been allocated to them a long time ago. The man told Li that it took a year or two to start the project as there were dozens of evaluations they have to go through to get the green light.
Li’s recitation at the meeting of all the evaluations the man told him about elicited laughter.
The Premier insisted that necessary evaluations are needed, like those regarding the environment, water and safety. But, he also pointed out that some local governments didn’t have enough professionals to do the job, so they just outsourced it to various agencies. But some local governments had managed a more efficient approach.
“In that regard, some local governments have taken some good initiatives. For instance, departments provide a one-stop service by working together, making evaluations at the same time and publishing the results online,’’ Li said.
“These actions are providing useful experience and solutions. Relevant departments should closely study the cases and learn from them.”
Li also mentioned that some agencies have been working against the central government’s efforts to reform the administrative approval procedures.
“Some companies told me, during my inspection visits, that the approval procedures may have looked streamlined on the surface, but to get down to real business there were endless agencies that you have to go through. Some agencies are acting on behalf of the government, in the name of the market, to collect money from companies.”
Li stressed that the government will make it easier for more agencies to enter the market and compete with each other.
“To manage and regulate these intermediary services is a key move in deepening the reform of administrative approval procedures. Through management and regulation, the role of the government will be further altered, and modernized governance will be improved. It is also clearing the way and laying down the foundation for people to start businesses and to innovate.”