The State Council, China’s cabinet, will report annually on the management of State-owned assets to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, a vital way to boost transparency and maintain the values of such assets, according to a guideline released on Jan 14.
The assets should include those of State-owned enterprises — including financial assets and natural resources — and especially assets used in China’s outbound foreign investments, according to the guideline.
The management system of State-owned assets should be improved during restructuring, and strategic mergers for the State-owned economy should be accelerated to maintain and increase the value of these assets, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said in the report to the 19th CPC National Congress in October.
The guideline was adopted at the first meeting of the Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform of the 19th CPC Central Committee, which Xi presided over on Nov 20.
The guideline said the annual report is a vital measure to strengthen State-owned asset management, as emphasized in Xi’s report to the congress.
It ensures that the National People’s Congress will exercise its supervisory authority and boost the transparency of State-owned assets, which can help keep and increase the values of such assets and the welfare of the public, a statement released after the meeting said.
Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the NPC Standing Committee, as the top legislature, has the power to supervise and consult over State-owned assets.
The report is a crucial step to spotlight how State-owned assets are being used and will be beneficial to controlling losses in State-owned assets by enhancing management transparency, he said.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Chinese companies have made leaps in making investments and contracting projects overseas, Zhu said.
Since these assets are hard to trace and manage, the report is a good way to strengthen supervision of them and prevent the loss of State-owned assets earned from investments and contracts in other countries, he said.
Strengthened supervision can also make SOEs more cautious in investing overseas and can help protect State-owned assets, Zhu added.