China to crack down on policy implementation with inspection teams

SHANGHAI Sat Jun 7, 2014 6:23am EDT

Members of honour guards hold red flags during a welcoming ceremony for Denmark's Queen Margrethe II outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Members of honour guards hold red flags during a welcoming ceremony for Denmark's Queen Margrethe II outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing April 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The Chinese government said on Saturday it will deploy eight inspection teams across the country to investigate how regional governments are implementing 19 central policies and will hold accountable those found wanting.

The policies involved range widely, from economic development to housing and the environment.

Policy transmission from Beijing downward has often been a problem in China, with laws and regulations sometimes ignored or selectively enforced or implemented.

The State Council, China's cabinet, said in a statement that despite progress in rolling out a string of reform initiatives under Premier Li Keqiang in the past year, many had not been carried out fully or delivered the expected results.

"Responsibility for poor implementation of policy measures will be investigated, accountability will be serious, and there will be verbal admonishments, criticism or even administrative sanctions according to laws and regulations," the government said in a directive on its website.

The inspection would run from June 25 to July 5 and look into the implementation of 19 policies launched by the State Council since July 2013.

The inspectors would also be looking for officials who pass the buck, cause delays or are lazy, it said.

"Those who are not willing to act for fear of making mistakes or who put off their work will be brought to book," the official Xinhua news agency said.

At the top of the list of the areas the inspection teams would be probing was progress in the elimination of administrative approvals, widely seen as necessary to streamline business and boost economic activity.

Another would be how well governments were strengthening ecological and environmental protections.

The central government is trying to shift away from the entrenched development model that drove China's economy for the past two decades in which air, water and soil quality were often sacrificed for GDP growth, and officials were evaluated based on economic indicators.

The inspectors would also be checking progress on areas including construction of major water projects, investment policies for non-state companies, employment of college graduates, construction of affordable housing, and efforts to ensure that the financial services industry supports the real economy.

(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Paul Tait)

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