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Chinese gov't to invalidate outdated documents to boost efficiency

 China's State Council announced Wednesday that it will invalidate hundreds of outdated documents to tackle conflicts between policy and regulations or between previous and present policy documents, in a bid to further improve administration efficiency.

The decision was made at the State Council's executive meeting on Wednesday, which was chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

"Our goal, by invalidating these outdated documents, is to get rid of outdated regulations that hinder market potential, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation," said Li.

Over five hundred documents, which were issued between 1978 and 2013 and are in relation to the country's sustainable growth, structural reform and people's livelihood, have been found to overlap or conflict with many new regulations covering similar areas, which better suit the country's new evolving reality.

However, documents related to workplace safety and food security are not involved in this round of annulment.

Major documents to be annulled include those that are obviously not adapted to a market economy, or are unnecessarily restrictive in enterprise operations, pricing and fund management, undermining enterprises' potential.

Also, certain rules regarding approval for market access, investment, vocational qualifications and residency need to be further delegated or annulled.

During the meeting, Li called for governments of all levels to clean out outdated documents so as to further streamline administration and delegate power to lower tiers, as well as clearly and accurately communicate China's commitment both at home and abroad.

In December 2015, a total of 489 outdated documents were declared invalid after the first stage of document overhaul. An office was set up under the State Council to work on the task, consulting related departments and experts, as well as sometimes netizens.

The move is in line with government efforts to transform government functions, streamline administration and delegate power to lower tiers. It also helps governments at all levels to work more effectively with less institutional costs that arise from outdated regulations, so as to improve the government's credibility.

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