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Full Text: Work report of NPC Standing Committee(7)

2013-03-20 16:43 Xinhua     Web Editor: Gu Liping comment

6. Carrying out innovation in the NPC's work by proceeding from China's national conditions and realities

Creating new work methods and making the NPC's work keep up with the times is an inherent requirement for adhering to and improving the system of people's congresses and is also essential for doing the NPC's work well in the new situation. In accordance with the Constitution and laws, we proceeded from China's national conditions and realities, made solid and orderly progress in making innovations in the NPC's work, did a lot of creative work and made our work more productive.

First, we explored new ways of making legislation more scientific and democratic. We improved the mechanism for releasing draft laws for public comments so that their release became a regular practice. In principle all draft laws under deliberation by the Standing Committee are posted at the NPC's website, and important ones are also published by China's main media organizations to solicit opinions from all sectors of society. In addition, we improved the feedback mechanism for recommendations from the general public to actively respond to people's concerns. This process expands the people's orderly participation in legislation, makes policymaking more scientific and democratic, and raises people's awareness of the law. Over the past five years, we released 48 draft laws for public comments and over 300,000 people made more than one million comments on them. After we released the draft Law on Personal Income Tax, we received more than 230,000 comments on it. After comprehensively considering these comments and carrying out repeated consultations and thorough deliberation, the Standing Committee made important revisions to the draft to raise the salary threshold for personal income tax to 3,500 yuan and reduce the first bracket tax rate.

We launched a pilot project for evaluating laws after they are passed and established a mechanism for this purpose. We selected the Law on Scientific and Technological Progress, the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons and four other laws, and objectively evaluated how scientific and practicable they are as well as how effectively they were implemented by means of questionnaires, field investigations and studies, and case studies, thereby providing an important basis for revising them. We revised the Law on Disseminating Agricultural Technology on the basis of recommendations in the evaluation report on it that institutions that disseminate agricultural technology should be nonprofit and that nonprofit services for disseminating agricultural technology should be improved. This made the law more targeted and practicable.

Second, we created new methods of overseeing the work of the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. Inquiries and interrogations are statutory means by which the NPC oversees them. When the Standing Committee listened to and deliberated reports of the State Council, it conducted inquiries on special topics at group meetings or joint group meetings, and invited heads of State Council departments to listen to the comments of its members, answer their inquiries, thoroughly exchange views with them, and work with them to find solutions. In addition, the Standing Committee had these inquiries broadcast live on television and the Internet, and these broadcasts received a positive response from the general public. Following these meetings, it selected key issues of common concern to its members, strengthened follow-up oversight over them and encouraged relevant parties to improve their work.

An important function and power of the Standing Committee is to oversee central government budgets. In order to make our oversight more effective, we changed the practice of deliberating the implementation of the current year's budget of the central government in the first five months of the year at the same time we listened to and deliberated the final accounts of the previous year's budget at the June meeting of the Standing Committee to listening to and deliberating the implementation of the current year's budget at the Standing Committee's August meeting. We focused on examining the implementation of the budget approved by the NPC and its resolution on it, transfer payments of the central government, and the availability and use of funds for key expenditures. We also strengthened our oversight over the implementation of budgets for government-managed funds and state capital operations and further established a system of incorporating all government revenue and expenditures into government budgets and final accounts.

During these years, follow-up oversight was a good method used by the NPC to help solve important and difficult problems. By tightening its follow-up oversight, the Standing Committee of the Tenth NPC aided in solving longstanding problems such as arrears in export tax rebate payments and in wages owed to rural migrant workers and holding people for excessively long periods without trial. On the basis of a careful review of its experience, the Standing Committee of the current NPC put greater emphasis on adopting a variety of oversight methods to carry out repeated investigations to get to the bottom of an issue and on integrating strengthening oversight with revising and improving laws, and strove to give impetus to solving problems and establish a permanent mechanism for this purpose. To spur the effective implementation of the Labor Contract Law, the Standing Committee investigated compliance with the law in the first year it officially went into effect. In response to new developments and new issues in China's labor and employment in the global financial crisis, the Standing Committee emphasized the need to adopt whatever means necessary to keep employment stable and expand it, prevent wage arrears and large layoffs, and increase the percentage of labor contracts signed by SMEs and in labor-intensive industries. In 2011, we organized the second round of investigations on compliance with this law. Last year we revised the law mainly to address the problem of the indiscriminate and capricious use of labor dispatch and to make it clear that employment by labor contract is the basic form of employment for Chinese enterprises, and employment by labor dispatch is only a supplemental form of employment. The revised law gives a clearer definition of job positions dispatched workers may fill, strictly restricts the number of these workers, and stresses that they enjoy the right to equal pay for equal work.

Third, we enriched our methods of conducting investigations and studies. Conducting investigations and studies is an inherent requirement for doing the NPC's work well and also conducive to improving the work of the parties involved. We made strengthening investigations and studies the breakthrough point for improving our work style. Making full use of the fact that members of the Standing Committee and special committees have a solid theoretical foundation and rich practical experience, we actively explored new methods of conducting investigations and studies while at the same time doing a good job in research on legislation and oversight. We organized special committees and working committees on a number of occasions to carry out investigations and studies on special topics and make pragmatic and pertinent comments and suggestions concerning the central leadership's formulation of major policy decisions and the implementation of macro-control policies. In 2009, the State Council worked out a plan for increasing the central government's public investment in order to effectively respond to the global financial crisis. Because not only did this plan involve a large investment over a wide-ranging area, but the time was tight and the task of implementing it was arduous, we carried out investigations and studies on four selected areas: government-subsidized housing construction, education and health projects to improve people's wellbeing, technological upgrading and innovation in science and technology, and water conservancy. We promptly exchanged views with local governments and relevant departments of the State Council on outstanding problems we found in our investigations and studies, such as poor preparatory work, unavailable supporting funds and uneven progress for some projects, and also indiscriminate launching of projects in some localities. We helped them study and improve their work, policies and measures, thereby making better use of the role of government public investment in ensuring economic growth, adjusting the economic structure, and improving people's wellbeing.

Fellow Deputies,

The achievements of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh NPC are attributable to the correct leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the great trust placed in us by people throughout the country, and to the hard work of deputies to the NPC, members of the Standing Committee and special committees, and employees of NPC bodies. They are also attributable to the cooperation of the State Council, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and to the strong support of local people's congresses at all levels and their standing committees. On behalf the Standing Committee of the Eleventh NPC, I hereby express my heartfelt gratitude to them all.

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