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People's Daily Online

Chinese premier vows devolution to limit graft

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:55, February 10, 2015

BEIJING, Feb. 9 -- The Chinese government will devolve some powers to lower levels in order to reduce scope for officials bargaining for benefits, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday, putting forward requirements for anti-corruption work in 2015.

Li made the remarks during the third meeting on clean governance, which focused on strictly managing public assets and limiting misuse of power as China's campaign against corruption continues.

The pre-approval process of investment projects will be significantly slashed this year, while all examinations for non-administrative permission will be canceled, the premier said.

He also urged the government to clean intermediary service sectors, breaking monopolies and strengthening regulation so as to eradicate the 'grey zone' of administrative examinations and approvals.

The central and local governments should make lists of those who have certain powers and their responsibilities, Li proposed.

The premier said that, although there were significant results in anti-graft work last year, corruption still plagues the government in some sectors, largely because a minority of officials have so much power to give approvals and mete out benefits.

At the meeting, the premier vowed to strengthen regulation of using public funds, pledging to put government income and expenditure under budgetary management and offer 'a readable account book' to the public.

'Every single penny of government expenses should be subject to auditing supervision,' he said. 'Supervision over state-owned assets and enterprises should be tightened to make sure no national property is pocketed by a small number of corrupt officials.'

Li asked officials at all levels to act on what they say and avoid empty talk.

'Those who are lazy with administrative duties and don't make the slightest contribution to governance will be harshly punished while those who practice diligent government will be given a stage,' he said.

To fight corruption, Li urged officials to tackle root causes of problems.

'All Party members should observe CPC disciplines, rectify undesirable work style, and advocate frugality,' said Li.

He pledged to keep up the tough stance against graft, severely punishing corrupt officials and restraining power in 'the cage of regulations'.

Officials at all levels should take the lead to abide by laws and regulations, the premier added, while supervisory organs should carry out inspections to clean governance.

The meeting was attended by vice premiers Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yandong, Wang Yang, Ma Kai, as well as other senior officials of the State Council.Wang Qishan, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, attended the meeting on invitation.

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