China cuts bureaucracy for investment

BEIJING Mon May 26, 2014 7:50am EDT

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BEIJING May 26 (Reuters) - China has simplified procedures for the government to approve investment projects to increase transparency and efficiency, the country's top economic planner said on Monday, the latest effort to streamline administration and devolve more power to firms.

The government will only vet certain aspects of projects considered strategic, such as those pertaining to environmental protection, economic security and monopolies, according to new rules. Companies will be given more autonomy in deciding matters such as investment returns and financing, the government said, without giving more details.

"Authorities should not interfere with the independence of companies in making investment decisions, and not arbitrarily delay approval deadlines," the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website.

It also said the government's approval process and decision should be publicised to improve disclosure and allow for greater supervision from the public.

Authorities must clearly state the documents that companies need to facilitate their project applications, it added.

Cutting government red tape is part of China's wide-ranging plans to reform its economy into one that is more driven by market forces, and Beijing has already scrapped some bureaucracy and simplified the rules for various types of investment. (Reporting by Aileen Wang; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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