|Sheng Guangzu, minister of railways, is the center of media attention on Sunday after a government reshuffle plan proposes to scrap his ministry. (Feng Yongbin / China Daily)|
Overhaul sees merger of ministries and agencies to boost efficiency, cut red tape
The railways and health ministries are being axed in an unprecedented government restructuring plan announced on Sunday.
The plan, which will see the ministries become part of larger entities, will slash red tape and ensure greater efficiency.
The overhaul, the seventh in three decades, will see the State Council cut the number of its ministry-level bodies from 27 to 25 while reorganizing several other agencies and departments.
"The State Council has established a framework and function system that has largely met the needs of the socialist market economy ... but still has many problems," State Councilor Ma Kai said.
The government is concerned about the duplication of functions, overlapping management, inefficiency and bureaucracy, and this has allowed corruption and dereliction of duty to occur, Ma said while discussing the plan at the national legislative session on Sunday.
Under the plan, the Ministry of Railways will be split with its regulatory powers going to the Ministry of Transport while its commercial operations will be run by a company. A former railway minister was sacked in 2011 over corruption charges.
Ma told national legislators and political advisers that some government departments have more power than necessary, while at the same time being unable to adequately perform their duties.