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What are the NPC procedures for the proposal and deliberation of bills?

Bills submitted for consideration by the National People's Congress can come from both NPC and government departmental sources. The detailed procedures are laid out in the provisions of the Organic Law of the National People's Congress and the Rules of Procedure for the National People's Congress.

Bills may be brought forward by the NPC Presidium, the NPC Standing Committee and the various NPC special committees as well as by the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. Bills are put on the agenda for the NPC session by the Presidium.

Any group of at least 30 NPC delegates may also present a bill to the National People's Congress. The Presidium will decide whether to put the bill straight onto the agenda or pass it first to the relevant special committee for it to consider and prepare a report.

When a bill is on the NPC agenda, the general procedure is for the proposer to make a presentation at the plenary session where it is then discussed and deliberated upon. It then goes for consideration by the delegations typically at their group meetings. In the meantime, the Presidium may entrust the relevant special committee(s) with discussion and deliberation of the bill and the preparation of a report to be submitted by the Presidium to the plenary session for voting. The voting could be by ballot or a show of hands or take such other form as may be determined by the Presidium. Provided it does not seek to amend the Constitution, the bill will be passed if more than half of the deputies attending the NPC session vote for it. The result of the vote is announced on the spot by the chair of the meeting.

Even more rigorous procedures are required for an amendment to the Constitution. Here the proposal must be made either by the Standing Committee or be brought forward by more than one-fifth of the deputies to the NPC. And it requires a majority of not less than two-thirds of the deputies determined by ballot.

While the various delegations are considering a bill or a related report, the state body concerned provides a senior official to attend the meeting, to seek the views of and answer questions put by the deputies.

A delegation or more than 30 NPC deputies may sign a petition to raise questions concerning the work of the State Council and the various ministries and commissions that operate under its auspices. The work of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate may also be questioned in this way.

The Presidium of the NPC or more than three delegations or a petition of more than one-tenth of all NPC deputies may propose organizing an ad hoc committee to investigate a specific issue. Such a proposal is taken by the Presidium to the NPC plenary session for a decision.

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