Reduced red tape to boost economy

Updated: 2013-05-07 01:05

By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)

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State Council vows to minimize intervention and deepen reform

China's cabinet announced detailed plans on Monday to deepen economic reform, cutting government interventions that hinder robust growth.

It will cancel or delegate power to lower levels for 62 items previously subject to central government administrative approval, after similar approaches removed 71 items last month, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

China must launch more concrete reforms to "maintain steady economic growth, control inflation and dissolve risks," according to the communique from the meeting.

The State Council said it expects new reform efforts to unleash the vigor of society and build up momentum for economic growth.

The initiatives include measures to:

• Make the process of establishing budgets more "open, transparent, standardized and comprehensive";

• Control the risk of local government debt;

• Expand the pilot program for replacing business taxes with value-added taxes. The present tax system on the use of natural resources is to be revised;

• Push forward market-oriented interest rate reform and propose an operational program for making renminbi convertible in the capital account;

• Protect small and medium-sized investors overseas. Capital markets for bonds, stocks and trust investment instruments are to be better regulated;

• Open the railway system to "social capital", including private capital. With guided access, "social capital" is to be allowed to invest in the existing trunk lines;

• Establish a progressive pricing system for the supply of major urban utilities including electricity, water and natural gas;

• Improve efforts to guarantee social security networks and related services, including "the strictest possible" system to monitor and regulate food and drug production and markets;

• Roll out a new city residential permit system to eventually replace the half century-old hukou (household registration) system;

• Develop modern agriculture by providing better legal protection of farmers' land use rights;

• Expand pilot reform programs in all State-endorsed science and technology zones.

Xinhua contributed to this story.