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Cabinet acts to reduce red tape

By CHEN XIN, LAN LAN and WU WENCONG  (China Daily)

08:09, May 17, 2013

Approval needed for some items to be delegated to lower levels

The State Council, China's cabinet, on Thursday published a list of items that no longer require central government approval, or have been delegated to lower-level authorities.

The cabinet's list follows Premier Li Keqiang's pledge to streamline the government since he took office in March.

Approval required for 133 types of undertakings was either surrendered to the market or delegated to lower levels.

Of the 133 approval requirements to be canceled, 117 were posted on the government website, while the remaining 16 are pending law amendments or remain State secrets.

Approval is no longer required from central government agencies for activities ranging from foreigners touring China in their own vehicles to companies investing in large oil and gas fields.

Investors will also no longer need to gain administrative approval for exploration and development of new oil and gas fields.

The changes were welcomed by economists as an effort to lower the threshold for investors to enter more industries, which may in turn raise their enthusiasm and help spur economic development.

Niu Li, senior economist with the State Information Center, a government think tank, said reduction and decentralization of approval is a key part of the government's roadmap for progress on China's economic reform.

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