Premier Li Keqiang presided over an executive meeting on Nov 18 discussing issues of public service, technology upgrades and financial support for education.
The meeting decided to improve public service - an important part of the ongoing reform of streamlining administration and delegating powers to lower-level governments - by publishing public service lists of government departments, State-owned enterprises and organizations, and related intermediary organizations, simplifying service procedures, and promoting information sharing regarding public service among government departments and State-owned enterprises and organizations.
The move aims to provide convenience to the public and advance mass entrepreneurship and innovation.
In addition, the meeting also announced the cancellation of 489 outdated government documents or those that are not in accordance with current laws and regulations.
Technology upgrades were another issue under discussion and it was decided to develop industries to a higher level.
The meeting noted that besides innovation-oriented enterprises and emerging industries, promising enterprises of traditional industries will be supported to lift levels of design, technology, equipment and energy efficiency, improving product quality and lowering costs.
To do this, guidelines that direct technology upgrades of industrial enterprises and offer plans of annual key projects of technology upgrades will be published; pre-approval procedures will be simplified to speed up implementation of projects; and financial support of government, banks and private sector will be made to finance technology upgrades.
The meeting also decided to set a unified education fund guarantee for compulsory education in both urban and rural areas.
Starting from the spring term of 2016, China will unify the basic funds per student for public use, and grant subsidies to urban and rural compulsory education schools (including private schools) no less than the stipulated amount. Subsidies will be raised appropriately for boarding schools, schools with access to a heating system in northern China, and schools with a small size. Local governments are also encouraged to raise the subsidy standards as appropriate.
Starting from the spring term of 2017, students receiving compulsory education (including those studying at private schools) in both urban and rural areas will be exempt from tuitions and incidentals, while provided with free textbooks. In addition, boarding students whose families are in adverse economic conditions will receive subsidies to cover their living expenses.
Newly-added government spending for the above-mentioned policies to support education will surpass 15 billion yuan ($2.35 billion) for the next two years, and the expenditure will be shared by the central and local governments.