Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 腾讯微博 Wednesday 3 June 2015
English>>China Politics

Revised Legislation Law to standardize lawmaking

(Xinhua)    19:43, February 28, 2015

BEIJING, Feb. 28 -- In the year in which China has set out to "comprehensively advance the rule of law", there is expectation that the country's upcoming annual legislative session can help to standardize the process under which laws are set across the country.

The Third Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature is scheduled to convene on March 5 and consider a draft amendment to China's Legislation Law, which regulates the process of creating national laws, government regulations and local laws and defines legislative powers in the country.

Observers are hoping that making this legal foundation more secure, thereby guarding against arbitrariness or regional discrepancies in laws, will help improve governance more broadly.

The Legislation Law, enacted in the year 2000, has been tabled for revisions twice -- in August and December 2014.

Gu Shengzu, an NPC Standing Committee member, said only good laws can lead to good governance. The role of the Legislation Law is to produce "good laws".

These are badly needed.

Taxation is a good example of an area not adequately covered by laws. Of China's 18 existing items of taxation, only three -- individual income tax, corporate income tax, and vehicle and vessel tax -- are provided by legislation, while others are based on regulations or "provisional rules".

The practice was only ever allowed as an interim measure, adopted in the 1980s as China had just embarked on its sweeping reform and opening up. The NPC Standing Committee then authorized the State Council to enact administrative regulations on tax.

However, in 2013, the CPC Central Committee required that the principle of statutory taxation must be further realized.

Deliberation of the Legislation Law at the upcoming parliamentary session is expected to support the principle with concrete moves.

Apart from tax, other administrative rules that have sway on people's daily lives are also expected to be regulated by laws following the revision of the Legislation Law.

For instance, some Chinese cities restrict the number of properties individuals can purchase to limit real estate speculation. Some cities ease gridlock by restricting traffic access to roads based upon license plates, both regularly and on special occasions.

Such administrative orders, if not regulated by laws, may be subject to whimsical decision-making.

As China's reforms navigate unchartered water, legislation has already become a tool to clear obstacles and lay the foundation for further reform.

Such an effect can be seen from a trail of legislative improvements last year.

In August, the 12th NPC Standing Committee adopted a resolution to set up special courts for intellectual property rights in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, better protecting these rights.

The top legislature in August also adopted revisions to five laws, pertaining to insurance, securities, registered accountants, government purchase and meteorological services, facilitating the central governments to decentralize administrative approvals.

In December, the NPC Standing Committee approved a resolution on temporary adjustment of regulations for administrative approvals in the new free trade zones (FTZ) in Guangdong Province, Fujian Province and Tianjin Municipality.

According to the resolution, foreign companies will not need government approval to set up ventures in these FTZs, shut down and merge ventures or change their business purpose. Instead, they only need to report their business plans to authorities.

In view of modern history, it is common practice for nations to create consensus through establishing laws, thereby advancing reform and economic development, said Liang Ying, a member of staff with the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

Add your comment

Related reading

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words