Mega departments to help improve efficiency

2007-12-27 02:04:38  China Daily      

The country's numerous energy and finance administrative bodies are likely to be merged into two mega departments in a bid to streamline the sectors, a top policy planner said Wednesday.

Coal mining, crude oil, electricity and renewable energy bodies will be unified under a large new energy department, according to Zheng Xinli, deputy chief of the Central Policy Research Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Similarly, the regulatory commissions on securities, banking and insurance that make up the financial regulation system will be merged into one mega department.

Such moves are expected to improve efficiency and may prompt further reshuffles of central government departments.

"A special government task force is working on the reform," Zheng told a State Council Information Office news briefing.

"As departments are now getting more closely involved with each other, mega departments are needed to improve efficiency and coordination."

Although he declined to disclose a complete list, he said energy and financial fields were definitely in line to be unified.

Currently, the energy division under the National Development and Reform Commission is in charge of drafting energy policies, but most administrative powers on different types of energy lies with various industry commissions and ministries.

Professor Zhou Tianyong at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee said the reforms should expand to the whole administration.

Zhou said the functions of many administrative organs under the State Council overlapped, producing repetitive approval procedures and encouraging corruption.

"This is a result of the planned economy, which is aimed at managing every detail of economic activities, but some power should be given to the market," Zhou told China Daily.

There are currently 28 ministries and more than 40 functional organs under the direct administration of the State Council.

Some developed countries have just a dozen mega-departments to handle all functions of state, according to Zhou.

He asked the government to eradicate administrative overlap by setting up new mega departments to slim down bloated bureaucracies.

Some experts have also called for mega departments in other fields to avoid inefficiency.

Xiong Wendao, a law professor at Central Nationality University, called for the establishment of a mega department in agriculture to oversee farming, forestry, fishery and animal husbandry.