The draft of the country's first energy law will highlight "unified administration" of the sector, but stop short of spelling out the establishment of an energy ministry, a key drafter said on Friday.
"Government agencies related to the energy sector will have their functions streamlined to ensure unified energy administration. That is one of the key messages of the draft," Ye Rongsi, deputy chief of the drafting team, told China Daily.
But it is up to the country's highest authorities to decide whether a ministry will be set up, he pointed out.
Many government departments are engaged in the energy sector, including the energy bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the Ministry of Land and Resources.
The Shanghai-based Oriental Morning News recently quoted a source as saying that an "energy ministry" could be established as early as March.
The energy law is expected to be submitted for review to the State Council early next year, said Ye, who is also president of the China Law Society's Energy Law Academy.
He said the draft deals with major issues such as conservation, energy safety, market-oriented allocation, scientific and technological innovation, service and international cooperation.
Last month, the draft was distributed to government departments and organizations to seek opinions, and it will soon be make public to solicit comments, according to Ye.
(China Daily November 17, 2007)