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China to amend laws to cut government red tape


17:10, June 26, 2013

BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature Wednesday heard a bill about amendments to a total of 12 laws, a legislative move to cut red tape and reduce administrative intervention in the market and in social issues.

Amendments will be made in the laws on the protection of cultural relics, grassland, customs, quarantine of imports and exports, taxation, prevention and treatment of polluting solid waste, coal industry, animal epidemic prevention, securities, seeds, the promotion of non-governmental education as well as prevention and control of infectious diseases, according to the bill.

The bill was submitted to the bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which runs from Wednesday to Saturday.

The revision to the laws is to implement a plan of institutional restructuring and functional transformation of the State Council, adopted at the NPC annual session in March, said Song Dahan, director of the legislative affairs office of the State Council, or China's cabinet, when elaborating on the bill to lawmakers.

The amendments are aimed at stimulating creativity in the market and in society and giving full play of local governments' initiatives, Song said.

According to the bill, private owners of cultural heritage sites will not need government approval for selling and mortgaging properties or changing the use of them but should inform authorities so that they can supervise the proceedings.

A coal mining company will not need to apply for a production certificate before it starts operation, once they have obtained a safe practice certificate from the work safety administration, which simplifies the procedure of running a coal mine, according to the draft amendment to the law on the coal industry.

The bill also removes the administrative approval for opening a company in the coal business.

The proposed revision to the law on administration of taxation shortens the processing time for tax authorities to review an application of tax registration from a company and issue a certificate, from the maximum 30 days to one day.

The bill is believed to be a follow-up move after the State Council published a list of items last month that no longer require central government approval or now only require consent from lower-level authorities.

A total of 71 items that were previously subject to central government administrative approval were removed and approvals for 20 items have been delegated to governments at lower levels.

A State Council statement said on May 16 that to cut or downgrade another 16 administrative approval items would require legal revisions and it will appeal to the NPC Standing Committee for amending the related laws.

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