Opinion / Opinion Line

Lists of powers can improve governance

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-26 07:53

Lists of powers can improve governance

Signboards of Chinese and foreign banks and other financial institutions are pictured in the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai. [Photo/IC]

The central authorities have required local governments to draw up lists of the areas in which they exercise power and to strictly abide by them. The provincial governments need to finish the task by the end of 2015 while the deadline for municipal governments is 2016. Comments:

The lists of powers are meant to clearly draw a dividing line between the government as a visible hand and the market as an invisible one. With clear lists, governments will not be able to intervene in things outside the lists or neglect their responsibilities in regard to those on the lists.

Zhou Jingtong, a senior researcher on strategic development at the Bank of China, March 25

In a normal market economy, the boundaries between the market and the government are dynamic; without the rule of law, governments tend to occupy areas of ambiguity and so extend their power. With the lists of powers being introduced, governments will be restrained from overstretching their hands.

Su Jian, a senior researcher at the Peking University Institute of Economics, March 25

According to our research, the shadow of a planned economy is still evident in many economic sectors. Local governments seem to instinctively seek to defend their power in hand because that often involves vested interests.

Xiu Fujin, vice-chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, March 25

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