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Red tape must be cut to boost efficiency

Updated: May 7,2015 1:59 PM

Red tape must be cut and excessive bureaucracy slashed to benefit the public, Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council’s executive meeting on May 6.

The Premier highlighted three cases that got tangled up in red tape or were hindered by unnecessary bureaucracy.

“The media reported that a person who wanted to go abroad put down the name of his mother as an emergency contact, but local authorities required him to provide documents to prove that the emergency contact was indeed his mother,” the Premier said.

“It’s ridiculous. He just wanted to relax by going on a trip abroad, but look how things turned out,’’ he said. “Did the authorities do this in order to be responsible to the people, or did they do this just to place obstacles during the procedure?”

The second example the Premier shared concerned a man in Hainan province who wanted to submit his application for “National Model Worker.’’ He needed to get eight stamps for his documents. For several days he rushed about but failed to get all the stamps, and had to request special approval from provincial leaders.

The third example concerned a businessman from Taiwan who told the Premier during a meeting in Xiamen, Fujian province about two weeks ago that he was insufficiently protected by the authorities from infringement on his intellectual property rights.

“The authorities have a problem of not taking care of issues they are responsible for and meant to take care of, while interfering with things they are not supposed to interfere with,’’ Li told the executive meeting.

These examples show that the reform of administrative approval procedures has not yet met the people’s expectations, and more must be done to not only draw a clear distinction between what the government should do and what’s up to the market, but also improve the government’s ability to supervise business behavior and serve the market, according to the Premier.

The reform of administrative approval procedures is an important element in sustaining economic growth, and departments must make solid progress in streamlining or delegating their powers, he added.