“To create a fair and just market environment, we must firmly deepen administrative reform,” Premier Li Keqiang said on Jan 17.
Premier Li made the remarks at the State Council executive meeting, where it was decided to expand the pilot reform of separating business licenses from operation permits to improve the business environment.
Accelerating administrative reform and promoting business registration reform are important measures to further lower the market access threshold, reduce institutional transaction costs and activate the vitality of entrepreneurship and innovation, the Premier noted.
“Although the number of newly-registered enterprises has seen an exponential increase in recent years, many of them were prohibited from operation after market entry,” Premier Li said.
It was hard for some enterprises to obtain operation permits after getting business licenses, he added.
The government has been exploring approaches to integrate operation permits nationwide. However, there are too many permits, which as a whole has become “a second threshold” for business operation, Premier Li said.
In 2015, Shanghai Pudong New Area was approved by the State Council to launch a pilot project that allowed an enterprise to begin operation activities simply after getting a business license.
According to the decision at the Jan 17 executive meeting, the area will carry out a pilot reform to continue to cut or simplify another 47 approval items, covering 10 fields, such as medical care, investment, construction, transportation and quality supervision.
According to the Premier, as China is promoting new growth momentum and business patterns, enterprises should be released from rigid regulations.
He said such a large number of permits hinders the growth of enterprises and distracts government’s supervision.
The key to separating business licenses from operation permits is to prevent red tape in the future and replace approvals with strict pre-and post-supervision, Premier Li said.
He urged the authority of Shanghai to implement the trial reform and accumulate experiences for future promotion nationwide.
“Local governments should actively innovate the supervision mode, build a fair market environment, and provide more high-quality public products and services for market players,” the Premier said.