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China to transform gov't functions

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-11 10:46

BEIJING -- The State Council plans to transform government functions at the ministerial level to reduce administrative intervention in the market and on social issues, State Councilor Ma Kai said in a report to the parliament's annual session on Sunday.

The plan by China's Cabinet aims to build an efficient and law-based government with a clear division of power, reasonable distribution of labor and well-defined responsibilities, Ma said while explaining the report on the State Council's institutional reform plan.

In a bid to offer quality public services and promote social justice, the State Council plan outlines major problems in the existing functions of the central government, and it sets the orientation, principles and priorities in transforming the ministerial functions.

"Departments of the State Council are now focusing too much on micro issues," Ma said, noting that overlapping in government functions often leads to buck-passing among government departments. "We should attend to our duties, and we must not meddle in what is not in our business."

The official reform plan came amid mounting public calls for boosting government transparency and efficiency and curbing corruption.

"As a person working in communities all my life, I desperately hope for streamlined administrative procedures and fewer government approvals," said Li Zhensheng, a deputy from east China's Fujian province to the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

While delivering his last government work report to the top legislature on March 5, Premier Wen Jiabao acknowledged that some government departments are prone to corruption, saying the central government is "keenly aware that we still face many difficulties and problems" in economic and social development.

Wen vowed that the government will continue transforming government functions, as well as separate government administration from the management of enterprises, state assets, public institutions and social organizations, to build a "well-structured, clean, efficient and service-oriented government."

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