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New law cuts through gov't red tape
( 2003-11-07 00:10) (China Daily)

Government officials should study the law on administrative licensing to do away with red tape, Premier Wen Jiabao urged yesterday.

The law on administrative licensing was adopted by the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, in August. It will come into effect on July 1, 2004.

Once in force, the law is expected to help introduce a "just and transparent, clean and efficient administrative system with standardized practice and good co-ordination'' in China, Wen said at a State Council lecture in Beijing yesterday.

The law will also provide a powerful legal guarantee as China opens up to the outside world and establishes and improves its socialist market economic system, he added.

A major governmental function, administrative licensing refers to the formal legal permission to conduct business or business-related activities.

The law clearly defines the relations between the government and the market, mainly in the economic field, and sets procedures for the establishment of administrative licensing.

It also offers comprehensive principles and procedures on how to conduct administrative licensing.

Currently, administrative approvals are regulated by scattered laws and regulations.

The new law is expected to greatly reduce the amount of administrative licensing, which, if uncontrolled, could hamper China's efforts to build a market economy.

Premier Wen urged governments at all levels to check administrative approval processes to avoid redundant procedures and to improve working efficiency.

The law follows international practice and is consistent with requirements of the World Trade Organization such as transparency, protection of the individual, and elimination of administrative trade barriers, according to experts.

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