China targets key areas for further reforms in 2008

By Xinhua

Beijing : China’s top economic planner said Sunday that it would step up reforms in key areas such as the economic system, investment regulation and supervision, resource products pricing and national healthcare.

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“We should further deepen reform in 2008,” Ma Kai, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at the annual working meeting of economic planners at all levels concluded here on Sunday.

He said a revised edition of “List of Government-approved Investment Projects” would be effective next year. The new list featured “a project recording and evaluating system”.

The country will promote the reform of resource products pricing and environment protection charging mechanism in a “controllable and sequential way”.

Pricing reforms of oil and gas, whose prices are currently set by the government, will be carried out “steadily”.

Further reforms will be carried out in the power generating and supply sectors. Railway, postal and telecommunication companies will continue to deepen their reforms.

The authorities will figure out a blue print of medicine and health care system reform and carry out trial projects steadily.

On Sunday’s meeting, the economic planners also addressed development of small- and mid-sized companies, encouraging the establishment of a credit guaranteeing system that will facilitate growth of those companies in regions “with mature conditions”.

They called for improvement in legislation on a variety of issues including enterprise investment, bidding, corporate bonds and administrative law enforcement.