|Chinese PremierLi Keqiang(2nd L) speaks at a conference discussing the transformation of government functions and institutional reforms, in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 1, 2013. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)|
BEIJING, Nov. 1 -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday called for unified efforts from the central and local authorities to transform government functions, a major item on the new cabinet's reform agenda.
"The transformation of local government's functions and institutional reforms are of great significance in bringing out the market and social creativity, as well as in promoting economic restructuring," Li stressed at a work conference.
Facing a complicated global landscape and pressure from an economic slowdown at home, the central government has made transforming government functions a top priority to spearhead broader reforms.
It has scrapped or devolved up to 334 administrative approvals, which drove a 25-percent rise in the number of business registrations this year, with that of private businesses up 37 percent, Li noted, describing the outcome as "better than expected."
To further smooth relations between government and market, Li asked local authorities to effectively implement function-transformation policies stipulated by the central government, and strengthen supervision in the process to create an open and fair environment.
He also ordered strict control of the number of government agency employees.
The latest emphasis on government function reforms came ahead of the the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee to be held between Nov. 9 and 12, during which a comprehensive reform package is expected to be unveiled.