Government reform aims for better business environment

Premier Li Keqiang vowed on Tuesday to further promote administrative reforms by streamlining the approval process, which will make it easy for the public and enterprises.

More measures will be taken to lower the threshold of market access this year, Li said at a press conference, where he made the remarks when he answered a question from China Daily.

The government will cut the time by half for business registrations and project approvals. A single website can provide governmental services online, while procedures can be done by one visit. All certificates that are not legally binding will be cancelled. Now it takes 22 days to open an enterprise; it can take less than one day to do that in developed economies, he said.

Administrative reform has been a key agenda for the State Council, China's Cabinet, since 2013 when Li took the office. The target Li announced that year, to cut one-third of more than 1,700 administrative approvals by State Council departments, was fulfilled ahead of schedule.

The central government accelerated the step to delegate powers to local governments, streamline administrations and improve governmental services.

In the past five years, administrative reform remained one of the topics for each year's first State Council executive meeting, showing the importance the central government attached to such efforts to help prioritize the business environment and facilitate people's applications.

The reform, which aims to stimulate market vitality and social creativity, has done well unleashing and developing productivity, Li said. However, complaints still exist that the institutional cost is high and it remains hard for people to get things done.

Negative lists for market access will be put in place nationwide, the premier said in his Government Work Report on March 5. The premier also pledged to abolish overlapping responsibilities by different governmental departments when it comes to one area.

A number of NPC deputies from several provincial regions suggested during discussions with the premier that the government should exert concerted endeavors to improve the business environment with easier steps, which has been a strong wish of market entities and the public.

Supervision will be strengthened during and after the approval process, Li said. A healthy market order should be maintained by wiping out counterfeiters, frauds and monopolies, and punishment will be given to serious offenders, the premier said.

In addition, fees charged to enterprises and taxes will be cut, he added.

(Source: China Daily)