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China to test run super-ministries in gov't body reform
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China will explore to integrate functions of small departments to found larger ones in the State Council reform, said Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday.

The plan is to avoid "overlapping responsibilities" and "powers not being matched by responsibilities," Wen said in his government work report to the First Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC).

The reform plan will be submitted to the NPC, China's parliamentary body, for discussion and approval.

The plan will appropriately divide responsibilities among departments that exercise macroeconomic regulation, adjust and improve bodies in charge of industrial management, improve departments responsible for public administration and public services.

It clearly defines the responsibilities and powers of each department, clarifies the relationship of responsibilities among departments, and improves the mechanism for interdepartmental coordination and cooperation, Wen said.

Besides the plan, the government will try other measures to reform its administrative system.

In a bid to build a service-oriented government, the Premier said efforts will be made to improve public administration and services and ensure equal access for all to such services.

Institutional supervision on the exercise of power is highlighted in Wen's scheme. Mutual oversight between higher and lower-level authorities and the role of supervision and auditing departments will be enhanced, he said.

"We will conscientiously accept oversight by all sectors of society," the Premier said.

Public supervision on the government will be enabled by increasing transparency of government affairs and effective channels for the people to supervise them, he said.

The Premier also strongly voiced against corruption and vowed to ensure a clean government.

"In particular, we need to tackle the problems of excessive concentration of power and lack of checks on power," he said.

The government will work to standardize management of public resources such as transfer payments, development of land and mineral resources, government procurement and transfer of state-owned assets.

Wen said he and his colleagues will address people's pressing concerns on irregular practices related to environmental protection, food and drug safety, workplace safety, land acquisition and expropriation and housing demolition.

(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2008)

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