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Shanghai cuts back on `red tape'
Updated: 2004-06-25 00:54

Any peddler at any food market in Shanghai will no longer have to apply for a permit with the local public health authority to sell edible chicken and duck blood products as of July 1.

Meanwhile, no approval formalities will be necessary for the Shanghai residents to hang items from trees along roads.

These are among a batch of three dozens items that used to require approval in line with 22 local rules but which go against the Administrative Licensing Law of China, according to a resolution passed on Wednesday at the latest session of municipal lawmakers.

Scheduled to take effect on July 1, the Administrative Licensing Law will help reduce red tape and bureaucracy, some law experts believe.

Promulgation of the law is one of the substantial steps China is taking to reform its administrative examination and approval system since entering the World Trade Organization (WTO) in late 2001.

The law, which is the first of its kind, will restrict government power, help increase the transparency of administrative approval procedures, and reduce the cost of administration, the experts say.

Besides the above-mentioned 36 items, another 65 items that required licensing in accordance with the municipal stipulations and documents will be rescinded. The two groups sum up nearly half of the existing 202 licensed items that go against the administrative licensing law.

The imminent cancellation of licensing will allow more individuals and enterprises from outside Shanghai to engage in production and provide services in the metropolis and grant local market access to commodities from elsewhere in China, according to Shen Guoming, a senior municipal lawmaker.

Shen noted that undue administrative licensing has long been a major source of corruption and a regulatory barrier for further social and economic growth in China.

Many local and departmental administrative licensing has also been utilized as a tool for local protectionism, Shen added.

The implementation of the administrative licensing law will be conducive to improving the efficiency of administration by local governments, said Xie Tianfang, also a senior legislator of Shanghai.

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