Progress of NPC

Updated: 2012-03-05 08:10

(China Daily)

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That issues concerning people's liveli-hoods have been discussed in recent years during the plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) points to the direction of the NPC's development and reform.

When the fifth plenary session of the 11th NPC opens today, the media and the public will have their eyes on what kind of motions the deputies will put forward and how they will be handled by relevant government departments.

How the NPC fulfills its role of supervision over the government and how its deputies fulfill their role as watchdogs to facilitate the work of the NPC is of utmost importance to the political progress of this country and its development of democracy.

Frankly speaking, when it comes to people's expectations of it, the NPC still leaves much to be desired. As its spokesperson said, most of the deputies are still not directly elected because of constraints of various kinds.

Yet, starting from 2010, the NPC started to convene meetings to inquire of particular State Council departments about specific issues of immediate concern to the lives of ordinary residents, such as affordable housing, food security, and reform of education and the healthcare system.

With an increasing number of deputies putting forward motions on issues that most residents are particularly concerned about, the NPC is becoming increasingly representative of the public's will to push the government to earnestly address particular problems .

And it is apparent that by pushing one issue after another, the NPC and its deputies are actually inching forward the political progress of this nation.

For example, for six consecutive years a deputy has put forward the motion asking for government officials to declare their properties. He will put forward the same motion this year.

He said that he has received an answer every year. He was told that there were not enough conditions for making transparent the declared properties of government officials when he first presented the suggestion. In 2008, someone from the Ministry of Supervision telephoned him, telling him that the work was being done. Last year, an official from the Central Discipline Inspection Committee informed him that a feasibility study was under way.

Another deputy will put forward the motion asking the government to cut expenditure in motor vehicles for officials' use, in government receptions and officials' trips abroad.

We should not dismiss or disregard such inch-by-inch progress, as the incremental achievements the NPC makes lay the foundation for a more democratic future.

(China Daily 03/05/2012 page9)