Cabinet acts to improve services

(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-16 07:03

The government will deepen the restructuring of the administrative system to improve macro regulation, public services and fight corruption, according to a release from a State Council executive meeting held Wednesday in Beijing.

The reform of the administrative system is a major task of the country's political restructuring, said the release from the meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Since 2002 the government has markedly enhanced its administrative capability and it is now necessary to further improve its governance, the release said.

The State Council, China's cabinet, decided three major tasks for reform in the near future:

First, improve institutions and mechanism of macro regulation, especially the regulation of markets, to ensure fast yet steady growth of the economy.

Second, improve social management and public services and solve outstanding problems in education, medical care, employment, social security and income distribution to safeguard social equity and justice and ensure social harmony and stability.

Third, enhance supervision to prevent abuse of power, and crack down on bribery and other corrupt practices.

The State Council also called for controlling government funding for reception expenses to combat waste and extravagance.

The State Council also issued new regulations on foreign-funded banks that will take effect on December 11, the date China is expected to fully open its banking sector to foreign competition.

The new regulations were signed by Wen.

The new regulations lift restrictions on yuan and foreign-currency transactions by solely foreign-funded banks and Sino-overseas joint venture banks.

Chinese branches of foreign banks, however, are banned from engaging in renminbi services with Chinese citizens unless an individual, having obtained the approval of the banking regulatory body, makes a fixed deposit of no less than 1 million yuan (US$127,000).

Solely foreign-funded banks and joint venture banks must have a minimum registered capital of 1 billion yuan or the equivalent in hard foreign currencies. Chinese branches of foreign banks must have a minimum operating fund of 200 million yuan or the equivalent in hard foreign currencies.

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