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Shadow banking, school buses and Spring Festival prices under scrutiny

By Xu Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-22 09:44
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Several ministry-level departments, including the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Education and the National Development and Reform Commission, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

Efforts to prevent financial risks stepped up

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said on Wednesday that it will step up efforts to prevent systemic risks and better serve the real economy this year.

The commission will unwaveringly target wrongdoing in the financial market, better curb violations of laws and regulations and defuse shadow banking risks in an orderly manner, the commission said in a statement released after a work conference.

Illegal financial activities will be punished stringently, and a campaign will be launched targeting risks involving internet finance and online lending activities, the statement said.

The commission will also bolster measures to serve the real economy, push forward the development of inclusive finance, and enhance support for private businesses and small and micro-sized enterprises so that financing costs can be kept at a reasonable level.

Unregistered school buses to be seized, ministry says

The Ministry of Education said on Friday that measures will be bolstered to investigate and punish those operating unregistered school buses and other illegal school bus practices to ensure the safety of students.

Primary and middle school students and preschoolers are forbidden from riding school buses that are not registered by the authorities, a notice jointly released by the ministry and several other departments said.

School bus drivers will face severe punishment if found speeding, overloading or driving off designated routes. Unregistered school buses will be seized, the notice said.

Departments are also required to conduct a thorough investigation of students' commutes and to keep long-term records of the models and plate numbers of school buses. Monitoring of private or unqualified kindergartens should be strengthened, and parents should be well-informed of such issues, the notice said.

More personnel should be dispatched to patrol roads near schools and kindergartens during rush hours to ensure students' safety, it said.

The authorities also called for local governments to better implement laws and regulations related to school bus safety.

Action called for to ensure stable commodity prices

The National Development and Reform Commission has called for efforts to ensure stable commodity prices during the Spring Festival holiday period, which falls between Feb 4 and 10 this year.

Local economic regulators should closely monitor the prices of daily necessities and transport and tourism services during the festival, and provide timely warnings of potential problems, the NDRC said in a statement issued on Thursday.

In areas frequently hit by bad weather, the authorities should come up with work plans to stabilize market prices and ensure the supply of key commodities related to public livelihood, it said.

The commission also required local authorities to step up price monitoring and oversight of shopping malls and supermarkets. Violations such as manipulating market prices, hoarding and profiteering will be targeted. Typical cases of violations involving commodity prices must be made public in accordance with the law, the commission said.

Online petitioning channels to be expanded

The National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration said on Thursday that it will expand online petitioning channels to improve the efficiency of such work.

Shu Xiaoqin, head of the administration, said in a meeting that departments should promote online petitioning and further integrate online platforms with the database of petition information, while ensuring the transparency of their procedures to allow for public supervision.

She added that an intelligent assistant system utilizing big data and artificial intelligence technologies should be developed to improve petitioning procedures.

Local authorities and departments should work closely to handle petitions in a timely and swift manner to avoid repeated petitioning, Shu said.

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