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China on Tuesday unveiled a major cabinet reshuffle, to make the government better-structured, more efficient, and service-oriented.

The institutional reform plan of the State Council was submitted to the ongoing first session of the 13th National People’s Congress for deliberations.

State Councilor Wang Yong briefed the lawmakers on the plan.

After merging, restructuring, creating and dissolving, there will be 26 ministries and commissions. Among the new entities are ministries for natural resources, veterans affairs, and emergency management.

There will also be new administrations under the State Council, such as an international development cooperation agency, a state immigration administration, and a banking and insurance regulatory commission.

Compared with the current cabinet setup, the number of ministerial-level entities is reduced by eight and that of vice-ministerial-level entities by seven.

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Wang said the reform, focusing on institutional restructuring in key areas, would strengthen the government’s functions on economic management, market supervision, social management, public service, and ecological and environmental protection.

“It focuses on the needs of development and meets the people’s expectations,” Wang said, adding that the restructuring formed part of a broader plan by the Communist Party of China to deepen the reform of the Party and state institutions.

He said the cabinet reshuffle dealt with the institutional obstacles to make the market play a decisive role in resource allocation. The reshuffle will also help China build a modern economy with high quality growth.

In a big change, a banking and insurance regulatory commission will be formed to replace the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

The move is aimed at solving existing problems such as unclear responsibilities, cross-regulation and absence of supervision, Wang said.

The new body will enhance oversight of both banking and insurance industries and be more effective to forestall risks in the financial sector.

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