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Q&A: Streamlining administration and delegating power


Updated: 2016-03-16 13:30:51


Q&A: Streamlining administration and delegating power

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 16, 2016. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/chinadaily.com.cn]

People's Daily: Just now you said that the government will continue to streamline administration and delegate power to stimulate market vitality, so my question is about this government reform. This reform has been going on for several years, but some companies and people still feel that it's difficult for them to get some things done. In some cases, they even feel quite at a loss as to what to do. My question is, what will the government do to proceed with this reform?

Li Keqiang:

Streamlining administration and delegating powers holds the key to transforming governments' functions. Three years ago, on the same occasion, I promised that this government would cut the number of items that require State Council review and approval by one-third during its term. We have already fulfilled this target. Based on third-party evaluations, most of the companies and our people are satisfied with the progress of the reform. Yet, some problems still exist, and our people expect more from the government.

At present, there are still too many items that require government approval. For those items that do need to exist, there is a lack of unified standards. A few days ago, in my discussion with some representatives of NPC deputies, one of them said that they wanted to establish a local nursing home that combines medical care with elderly care. It's a very popular idea with the local people. But many of them feel quite at a loss as to what to do, because there are different standards and they need to go through a host of government review procedures, involving market access, departments in charge of designated places for medical insurance, and how fees are going to be collected or set, etc. So all these redundant procedures have held back the development of productivity and also effective consumer demand among people.

We must make persistent efforts to forge head on this government reform and wherever there is an obstacle to this reform, the government must get right on it. The reform will cut government power but we are determined to keep doing it until our job is done, as that will deliver clear benefits to our people even if the government has to make painful adjustments. This year we are determined to further cut the number of such government approval items and leave more such items to the market.

For those items that still exist, procedures need to be simplified. We also need to further unify existing standards. In the past few years, we deepened business system reforms. We combined the requirements for business licenses and administrative permits. We have also introduced the practice of unified business licenses with the unified social credit code. All these have tremendously unleashed the creativity and entrepreneurial enthusiasm of our people. Now, on a daily basis, as many as 30,000 new market entities get registered. We will press ahead with this reform in various respects, for example, there are still too many requirements for certificates and various permits, and this year our goal is to further cut the number of such certificate requirements by half.

For government documents without solid legal grounds, and that have held back the entrepreneurship of the people, or even hurt their rights and interests, they will all be cleaned up, or abrogated. But to delegate powers does not mean the government will be hands off. Instead, it needs to do a better job in ensuring a level playing field, and it also need to redress such malpractice as arbitrary regulation. We hope that throughout this process, we will further boost this productivity, and bring more benefits to the people. So the government will provide better services to the people to ensure that they can get things done with greater ease.