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Rule government administrative approvals by law | Updated: 2013-08-26 20:31

The purpose of government administrative approvals is not to add government revenue, but to motivate the government to play a bigger role in serving the public interest and protect a healthy market environment, says an article in the 21st Century Business Herald. Excerpts:

Premier Li Keqiang has decided to take harsher measures to control adding new administrative approvals. He cut another 76 approvals, taking the number of administrative approvals abolished by the new government amount to 215.

The Administrative License Law was enforced from 2004 in China to fulfill the government's promise to the world as a new member of WTO.

This is a milestone law in regulating the Chinese government's power. But the law should be amended to adapt to new circumstances and target some outstanding issues now.

Some local governments can easily add administrative approvals by just issuing a policy or a file, which is highly convenient for those in power seeking rents and local trade protectionism.

Many arbitrary fees and approvals damage a healthy social and market environment and competition. The governments are only in charge of approving but not supervising.

The Chinese government has vowed to transform its functions and roles. As the main public service provider, the government must cut the unnecessary administrative approvals and the governments' approvals must be monitored and ruled by law.

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