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China further cuts administrative approval items

(Xinhua)

09:14, August 23, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The State Council, China's cabinet, has decided to remove or modify 314 administrative examination and approval items in order to further clear systematic obstacles for its social and economic development and curb corruption.

The decision was included in a statement released Wednesday after an executive meeting of the State Council, which was presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

According to the statement, 184 administrative approval items will be canceled, while the power to approve 117 items will be handed down to government departments at lower levels. Thirteen items will be merged into other items.

This round of reductions, the sixth of its kind since the reform of the administrative approval system kicked off in 2001, mainly covers investment and social projects, with a special focus on the real economy, small and micro-sized enterprises and private investments.

In the statement, the State Council hailed the administrative approval reform for "forcefully" pushing forward the transformation of governmental functions, strengthening the market allocation of resources and boosting lawful administration.

The reform has also been seen as an effective measure for improving the government's efficiency and fighting corruption.

Figures from the State Council show that a total of 2,497 administrative approval items, including those in the sixth round, have been rescinded or adjusted in the past ten years, accounting for 69.3 percent of the total.

Previous reports said the reform was aimed at cleaning up China's over-regulated administrative approval system, which had led to unnecessary government intervention in small business.

The statement stressed that the reform should be continued to further rescind or adjust administrative approval items with the principle of "reducing and delegating whatever that is necessary."

"Governments should refrain from topics that citizens, corporations or other organizations can handle independently, a market competition mechanism can effectively adjust, or industrial groups and agencies can manage," the statement read.

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