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China revises Legislation Law, paving way for legal reform


Updated: 2015-03-15 09:42:21


Full statutory taxation

Another provision to affect every citizen's life is statutory taxation.

The revised law underlines the principle of statutory taxation by singling it out in a provision, and makes it clear that a tax can only be levied and tax rate be set with the endorsement of the law.

The draft submitted for the reading had not regulated tax rate but it was written in the final version because of a strong push from NPC deputies.

Of China's 18 existing taxes, only three -- individual income tax, corporate income tax, and vehicle and vessel tax -- are levied through legislation, while the others are imposed through formal or provisional regulations issued by the State Council.

Such an arrangement was made because the NPC Standing Committee had authorized the State Council to levy taxes about business activities in 1985, several years after the country embarked on its sweeping reform and opening-up drive.

As things changed, both the legislature and public have realized the pressing need to install the complete statutory taxation.

The deadline has been set for the year 2020, according to Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the third session of the 12th NPC, at a press conference on March 4.

Chech on administrative power

Progress has been made in the revised law to rein in administrative power.

One provision bans ministries and local governments from issuing rules and policies that mitigate citizens' rights or increase their obligations without legal foundation.

A few provisions are about enhancing the top legislature's power of examining whether all government regulatory documents are in line with the Constitution and law.

It clarifies that the NPC departments may review government regulations and local laws without being requested. If a citizen or organization requests the review, the top legislature may present the feedback and publish the result.

NPC deputies insisted that the principle of a transparent legislative procedure should be written in the law and the time span, when a draft law is published to solicit opinion, should be extended from 20 days to 30.

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