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Civil societies get government boost

By He Dan and Rong Xiandong (China Daily)
Updated: 2013-03-14 07:09

Planned legislation will enhance development, growth of NGOs

The government will encourage civil societies to play a greater role by simplifying registration while beefing up supervision, Civil Affairs Minister Li Liguo said on Wednesday.

Experts and industry insiders welcomed the government's pledge but urged concrete action for real change.

Civil societies get government boost

A journalist raises a computer tablet reading "I have a question", at a news conference on people's livelihood and social services during the first session of the 12th National People's Congress in Beijing on Wednesday. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

Li said the State Council's recently announced reconstruction plan has shown a path for transferring more government functions to society.

He said that launching four types of non-governmental organizations - industrial associations, charities, community services and organizations promoting technology - will entail direct registration with the civil affairs authorities, eliminating the pre-examination and approval of other regulators.

Dou Yupei, vice-minister of civil affairs, said China will speed up legislation concerning charities and promote their development by acknowledging the growing importance of these organizations.

"Charity organizations ... now face a 'spring for development' as the government restructuring plan unveiled on March 10 encourages the role of social organizations in society," said Dou.

Civil societies get government boost 

The plan acknowledges that the requirements for establishing social organizations are too high, and even some non-governmental organizations tend to operate in a bureaucratic way like government departments.

Dou said China will create a better environment for the development of charities.

A national charities federation will be established soon to improve self-regulation in this area, Dou said.

Meng Weina, director of Beijing Huiling Community Services for People with Learning Disabilities, said it will submit its application for registration again in a couple of days "to see whether the government will fulfill the promise of direct registration".

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