China unveils government restructuring plans

China's Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping pauses as China's National People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo delivers a work report at the Great Hall of the People

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, will begin its seventh restructuring attempt in the past three decades to curb red tape and reduce administrative intervention in the market and social issues.

The number of ministries under the State Council will reduce from 27 to 25 while several departments and agencies are reorganized, according to a plan of institutional restructuring and functional transformation of the State Council, submitted to the national legislative session Sunday.

Having gone through restructuring for six times, “the State Council has established a framework that met the needs of socialist market economy but it still has notable shortcomings,” said Ma Kai, state councilor, when deliberating the plan at the session.

“Some departments have power bigger than necessary while in some aspects of governance they are not in place to act,” Ma said.

The central government is troubled by duplication of functions, overlapping management, low efficiency and bureaucracy while supervision on administrative power is not fully in place, he said, adding that this has somewhat facilitated corruption and breach of duty. ‘ The most important task of the restructuring plan is to transform and streamline the government functions, he said.

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