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Lawmakers work to reduce government power
( 2002-08-29 08:32 ) (1 )

Senior legisators are considering removing the rights of government departments under the State Council to create administrative licences.

A draft law being investigated says that only the National People's Congress (NPC), the nation's top legislature, its standing committee and the State Council have authority to decide which activities need administrative licences.

The congress and its standing committee and the people's governments at the provincial level are entitled to create administrative licences.

The move aims to tackle the overuse of administrative licences, according to Yang Jingyu, director of the Legislative Affairs Office at the State Council.

An administrative licence - formal permission to legally conduct business or business-related activities - is one of the important tools used by the government to manage social and economic affairs. However, there are now 4,000 activities that require licensing at the national level. An estimated 40 per cent of them are created by government departments, according to NPC sources.

Yang's office proposed the draft legislation before the ongoing session of senior legislators for a preliminary reading last week.

In yesterday's panel discussion, legislator Luo Shangcai complained that over-elaborate procedures and poor efficiency had been evident in the existing licensing practice.

Luo said clarifying who has the right to create administrative licences can help increase administrative efficiency and check corruption.

The draft law requires all documents needed to create a licence to be standard and open to the public.



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