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Why citizens lack interest in public hearings

By Liao Wengen  (People's Daily)

17:05, November 01, 2011

Fifth, most people are busy with their daily lives and do not have time to participate in various public hearings, and therefore public hearings are usually filled with retired people.

The sixth is the most important. Since the public hearing started in China, the results of all the public hearings have been the same as the official voices. The public hearing cannot change anything, and what it could do at most is to make certain prices rise a little less than expected.

Mo believes that the lack of interest in public hearings is mainly caused by the fact that the people's opinions are always ignored, and the common people are always treated with disdain in the public hearing. After the government has lost its creditability, the people will inevitably choose to no longer cooperate.

Some experts said that it is not wrong that China has introduced the public hearing system from the West. The system cannot achieve the expected effects in China, but the "professional public hearing attendees" should not be blamed for that. The actual reason is that the public hearing system does not have well-designed procedures in China. For example, public opinions are usually not mobilized before a public hearing, the participators are usually not properly chosen and no strict evaluation organization exists to evaluate the results of a public hearing. All these factors jointly discredit the public hearing.

However, regarding the function of the public hearing, an expert said that people need to regard it scientifically and should neither underestimate nor overestimate it. A public hearing is not a meeting of deciding the price by vote. The pubic hearing is just one step.

Its function is to ask for opinions of consumers, business operators and other related sides, demonstrate the necessity and feasibility of a price adjustment and make the final decision about a price adjustment. The pricing organization should equally respect the opinions of the minority and majority, adopt opinions according to the rationalities of the opinions and should not take the number of votes as the standard for the decision on a price adjustment.

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