Zhao Binghui, a deputy to China's top legislature, is longing for the arrival of July 1, a historic day when the country's first administrative permit law is scheduled to come into force.
"The number of 'red letter-headed' documents will greatly be reduced by that time," said Zhao, who serves as a director of the economic and trade commission of Jilin Province, northeast China.
"Red letter-headed" documents have long been the major carriers of administrative orders issued by government departments at all levels since New China was founded in 1949. With no rule of law, government bodies were accountable only to their superiors and handled public affairs at their own discretion, and this, plus the overlapping of power among government departments, often resulted in a stream of approval procedures for a single project.
Miao Wei, general manager of the giant automaker, Dongfeng Automobile, has the first-hand knowledge of the red tape. He told President Hu Jintao during the legislative session that they sometimes have to wait for half a year to get a government approval for a technical innovation project involving import of foreign equipment.
The administrative permit law, which will standardize the behaviors of government departments, is bound to bring about profound changes in the approval and examination system and deprive officials of the opportunities to abuse power for personalgains, said Zhao.
"We are busy reviewing our current practice in case we'll be brought to court and have no chance to win," said Li Chengyu, an NPC deputy, and governor of central China's Henan Province.
According to Wang Shengming, deputy director of the legislativeaffairs subcommittee of the NPC Standing Committee, the administrative permit law, adopted last year, prescribes the scopeand power of administrative permits, standardizes the procedures of administrative permits, sets clear requirements for administrative organs to improve work efficiency and provide good service, and lays down detailed rules on the legal responsibility and supervision concerning administrative permits.
The promulgation of the law will further promote the transformation of government functions and play a role in evolving a fair, transparent, clean and highly efficient administrative system, Wang said.