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China speeds up approvals for major projects

Updated: 2012-05-28 13:27

BEIJING - China recently sped up the approval process for a slew of major projects as the world's second-largest economy looks toward investment to boost its slowing economy, local media reported Monday.

Following a call to "stabilize economic growth," which was announced last week by the State Council, China's Cabinet, many ministries have instituted policies allowing private investment in sectors that had previously been monopolized and heavily state-controlled.

In May, the speed of approvals for major projects by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, has been "impetuous," the Beijing-based newspaper China Times reported.

The report said the NDRC approved more than 100 projects on May 21 alone, mostly in clean energy sectors. The number was almost equal to the total number of projects approved during the first 20 days in May.

Stabilizing growth is currently the government's main goal in policy-making, and maintaining investment and expanding domestic consumption are key, said Lin Ling, an economist based in Sichuan province.

The Cabinet has pressed for launching major projects in railways, energy conservation and environmental protection, infrastructure and educational and health care facilities in rural and western areas, and it has encouraged private capital to enter these sectors.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council also issued a guideline Friday for the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOE), inviting private investment in their restructuring through cash investment, share stake acquisition, subscription to SOEs' convertible bonds and finance leases.