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12 November 2012

China tests regulatory reform at province level

The regulatory reform scene in China has up to now not provided much news, but this may be soon changing. According to the People's Daily online published yesterday, "the central government has made Guangdong Province a pilot region for reform of the state and provincial regulatory and administrative process by removing or adjusting 100 regulations that require government approval, the Guangzhou-based Nandu Daily reported Monday.
The State Council recently issued an official document that approves the trial reforms during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15). Thirty-four administrative approval items will be canceled and the administration of 34 other items will be transferred from the province to lower levels of government. In addition, 32 items will be handed over to industry associations. The decision was made at an executive meeting of the cabinet presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao in August, the newspaper said.
The move is in a bid to reduce approval requirements and let markets allocate resources more efficiently.
On the list of the 34 regulations that have been canceled are the annual examination of tour guides, approval of building companies that conduct small-volume trade with Taiwan and approval of used car appraisal agencies.
Administration of 32 items will be gradually handed over to associations of specific industries, which aims at reducing government intervention and giving full play to markets. This list includes the annual check of asset evaluation agencies, registration of software products and hotel star ratings.
Provincial government departments will administer 19 regulations, while 15 others will be regulated by lower level governments. This covers programs in energy, transportation, raw materials, mechanic manufacturing and establishing local enterprises.
"The reform of administrative approval will help transform the government's functions, clarify its responsibilities and make more room for social development. This is to build a bigger society and smaller government," Zhu Lijia, a public administration professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times.

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