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Premier vows to further cut red tape

Updated: May 9,2016 9:01 PM

Streamlining administration, combining power delegation with enhanced supervision and optimizing public services are strategic measures to boost sustainable and healthy social and economic development, Premier Li Keqiang said at a telecommunication conference on May 9.

The government has long been promoting the transformation of government functions. Joint efforts by the central and local governments have achieved obvious results.

The State Council cancelled or delegated one third of its administrative approval items and accomplished these goals in advance. 80 percent of business registration pre-approval items, 44 percent of professional qualification licenses and 50-70 percent of provincial approval items have been axed.

These measures, while encourage innovation, enhance pre- and post-supervision and improve public services, have greatly stimulated market vitality.

Premier Li said that in recent years, facing downward economic pressure and the weakening of traditional growth drivers, instead of introducing strong stimulus measures China tried to make those measures the key tools in macro-economic control and to promote structural reform, especially supply-side reform. The country also tried to boost the initiative of the market players.

The fair and convenient market environment brought about by these measures in turn has boosted mass entrepreneurship and innovation, ensuring the economy is operating within a reasonable range and with quite full employment. It also sped up the development of the new economy and new growth drivers, as well as transformation and upgrade of traditional growth drivers, the Premier said.

“But we also realized that the government has interfered in some unnecessary businesses, some powers have not been delegated to lower levels and there also exists some lack of supervision. There are many weak links in the field of public services and great potential for transformation of government functions and improvement of efficiency,” the Premier said.

The Premier called for further and deeper reform to lower the systematic transaction costs, while at the same time he also urged the promotion of mass entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as development of the new economy.

There will be a clear measuring index for the reform effect: how much time has been saved in applying to open a new business? Is the approval time shortened? Does the public get more convenient services?

Premier Li asked the government to deepen the reform on administrative streamlining and delegating power to lower levels. He vowed to continue cutting down the administrative approval items and urged the grassroots level governments to properly exercise the delegated powers.

He called for the further reform of the business systems and the launch of trials to separate operating permits and business licenses, continuing to streamline pre-approval procedures and redundant licenses. He stressed that government should largely decrease enterprise-related administrative fees and items that requires administrative approval.

“And it is important to expand the autonomy of universities and research institutes to launch scientific research,” the Premier said.

He said that the government should promote openness in its affairs, solve isolated information issues, and make people and enterprises to understand, supervise and appraise the governments’ efforts in administrative streamlining, enhancing supervision and improving public services.

“We will step up releasing the lists of all powers and responsibilities of government departments, and promptly publish information on sensitive issues,” he added.

Premier Li urged reform of the government’s supervision system, saying that the government should promote and refine in an all-around way the oversight model that draws on random inspections by randomly selected law enforcement officers or inspectors and requires the prompt release of results to exercise a fair regulation and supervision.

“To this end, it will also adopt a unified approach to gathering information on enterprise credit with joint incentive and punitive action to be taken where necessary,” the Premier said.

The government has been asked to improve comprehensive supervision and promote reform on the administration of law enforcement in cities and counties, with an aim to reduce duplicate law enforcement and remove regulatory blind spots.

“For new business and new models, the government will explore prudent supervision and boost innovative development while conducting effective regulations to prevent risks,” the Premier said, adding that the government will promote fair competition among market players.

The Premier highlighted government services, calling for enhanced efficiency when serving mass innovation and entrepreneurship. “Governments at all levels should provide enterprises one-station services for business startups and development, to invigorate new registered enterprises,” he said.

“The government should improve public services’ supplies, and introduce cooperation patterns for government and social capital, “ the Premier said.

“To enhance efficiency in government affairs service, we will carry out the ‘Internet Plus government services’ model, so that the public and businesses need to make fewer visits to government departments to get things done,” he said.

Administrative streamlining, delegating power to lower levels and optimizing public services are a move in one part that may affect the situation as a whole. “Therefore, governments at all levels should bear the overall situation in mind, make efforts to benefit people and give full play to the market vitality and the creativity of society by constraining our power, “ the Premier said.

“We should put the reform of government in place with unwavering determination and craftsmanship, to establish a strict responsibility system to drive China’s development and improve people’s livelihoods with tangible results,” he added.

Vice-Premiers Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yandong, Wang Yang and Ma Kai, and State Councilors Yang Jing, Chang Wanquan, Guo Shengkun and Wang Yong also attended the conference.