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China: Gov't to Focus on Better Service
Source: http://www.news.cn/
Source Date: Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: China
Created: Nov 12, 2013

Senior officials are likely to discuss establishing a service-oriented government and giving more rights to the market and society during the Party's plenary session starting on Saturday, analysts say.

The latest high-level call for government reform came on Friday from Premier Li Keqiang.

The State Council has scrapped or modified up to 334 administrative approvals, prompting a 25 percent rise in the number of business registrations this year, Li said at a work conference on Friday.

"The transformation of local government functions and institutional reforms are of great significance in bringing out the market and social creativity, as well as in promoting economic restructuring," he said.

Local governments should effectively implement policies to smooth relations between government and the market, Li said.

The premier also ordered strict control of the number of government agency employees.

More measures on transforming government functions are likely to be introduced during the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, said Ding Yuanzhu, a professor of public administration at the Chinese Academy of Governance.

A comprehensive reform package is going to be unveiled at the session, which will be held Nov 9 to 12.

The reform measures are expected to stimulate economic growth and social innovation, Ding said.

The government is likely to continue to devolve power and abolish administrative approvals to facilitate trade and investment, he added.

According to a statement by the State Council on Oct 27, requirements for minimum registered capital for limited liability companies, one-person limited liability companies and joint-stock companies with limited liability will be scrapped.

The move is aimed at easing market access and encouraging social investment, according to the statement.

As a fresh effort highlighting the government's administrative reform, the move will create a fair and competitive market environment, mobilize social capital and encourage small and micro enterprises to grow and boost employment, the statement said.

In a guideline issued by the State Council in September, the government vowed to buy more services from NGOs, through which the government expects to improve the quality of social services and promote the efficiency of public funds.

Wang Yukai, a professor of public administration at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that the government has put forward a series of measures to stop its meddling in the market.

The measures will help companies reduce costs, provide more opportunities for social capital and break market monopolies, Wang said.

The public should benefit from the government's reform package, especially in social welfare, healthcare and other areas related to people's livelihoods, he added.

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