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Reforms persist for vision

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-15 07:31

The first National Seminar on Government Services was held in Beijing on September 24, 2016. / China Daily

In a recent teleconference on reform aimed at reducing red tape and providing better government services, Premier Li Keqiang pointed out there was a noticeable gap between the results achieved and public expectations and vowed more efforts to push forward reforms.

Since the reform to streamline government procedures, overhaul market regulation and optimize government services was first put forward by Li in 2015, the effects have been evident nationwide. A survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics of 90,000 domestic industrial enterprises above a certain scale in the fourth quarter of 2016 indicated that the simplified administrative procedures along with increased support for innovation and tax cuts have been of great benefit to companies.

However, just as Premier Li said, more efforts are needed to overcome the challenges that have emerged now that the reforms have entered the deeper-water area. Some early examination and approval procedures have been abrogated in some areas, but the previous deep-rooted mindset has not been fully eradicated. In some regions, government departments are dragging their feet in accepting market innovations.

Hopefully, the full implementation of the negative list management system vowed by Premier Li during the teleconference will help prevent the government from wielding its visible hand in areas where there should be no government regulation. To reduce and abolish early-stage administrative examination and approval procedures does not mean the lack of effective late-stage government regulation. On the contrary, the reduction or removal of such kind of administrative procedures means the government can more effectively use its regulatory power to close any possible loopholes and improve its services.

Given that the campaign to reduce red tape and improve regulation and government services is a round of reforms that will decide whether a modern governance system can be established in China, accelerated efforts to this end should be made to inject a stronger impetus into the development of the economy and society.



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