Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), called for coordinated efforts and orderly progress in the planning and implementation of institutional reform at the central and local levels to ensure complete victory in the area.
Xi, also Chinese President, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and head of the central committee for deepening overall reform, made the remarks when presiding over the second meeting of the committee on Friday.
Deputy heads of the committee Wang Huning and Han Zheng attended the meeting.
China should make good use of the experience from progress made in the institutional reform of the central and state organs since the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, and carefully plan local institutional reform, Xi said.
The meeting reviewed and approved a series of official documents on areas including reform of local institutions, constraints on state-owned enterprises' (SOEs) assets and liabilities, basic pension funds for business employees, and management rules for executives of centrally administered SOEs.
The meeting also reviewed a report on the progress of deepening reform of Party and state institutions, said a statement released after the meeting.
It also said that reinforcing the asset and liability constraints on SOEs is important for reducing leverage ratios and defusing debt risk.
Measures will be taken to improve management and promote the combination of internal control and external supervision. A restraint mechanism will be established and then continually improved.
Debt-ridden SOEs will be pushed to bring their asset-liability ratios to reasonable levels as soon as possible.
Participants of the meeting agreed to push forward pilot projects for improving supervision of operating state assets of central Party and government organs and public institutions, stressing the separation of government functions from the management of enterprises and capital.
They called for the establishment of a state capital management platform, as well as efforts to improve state capital structure, ensure the sound development of enterprises, and maintain and increase the value of state assets.
The reform at enterprises under colleges and universities should follow the path of state capital management reform, which should be carried out in line with both education principles and market rules, to enable universities to focus on education, according to the statement.
A central system for basic pension funds of enterprise employees will be established to ensure such funds are used inter-provincially. Through central management, coordination and financial aid, the security and sustainability of pension funds will be maintained, and retirees will receive the full amount of pension funds on time.
To improve management of central SOE leaders, China must adhere to the principle of the Party supervising cadres, bring the market mechanism into play, select cadres on the basis of both integrity and ability, with priority given to integrity, be both strict and caring, and place equal emphasis on providing incentives and imposing constraints.
Efforts should also be taken to improve the mechanism to assess the caliber of cadres, which should meet the requirements of a modern SOE system with Chinese characteristics and the needs of market competition.
The meeting stressed better management and aid to homeless people and beggars, and called for efforts to protect their legitimate rights and interests.
The statement said that the government will step up efforts to transform the supervision and management philosophy, system and methods in the healthcare industry, and strengthen its capacity in supervision and management.
It said major progress has been made in deepening Party and state institutional reform since the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, indicating that a solid foundation has been laid since the 18th CPC National Congress by deepening reform in all areas, and the mechanisms and means for institutional reform have been effective.
Following the arrangements from the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, the country should step up the launch of local institutional reform and constantly push forward reform, the statement said.
The CPC Central Committee's requirement on institutional reform must be implemented precisely in an all-round manner to uphold the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized and unified leadership.
Institutions at the provincial or lower levels will be granted greater autonomy, and local authorities will be allowed to set up institutions and design functions based on their own conditions.
Party and government institutions will be subject to strict quota management, with the authorized sizes of institutions serving as a rigid constraint.
The country should pursue a compact and efficient grassroots management system with a view to create convenience for the people.
China will also comprehensively reform administrative law enforcement, and improve market supervision and the law enforcement mechanism, the statement said.
Local Party committees must reinforce their leadership of institutional reform, coordinate planning and implementation of the reform, and ensure continuity and stability during reform, the statement said.
The departments under provincial-level Party committees and governments should correspond with central institutions in general, but local authorities can set up other institutions based on their economic and social realities, the statement said.
In guiding and promoting local reform, authorities should ensure both the overall uniformity and flexibility in some areas, the statement said.
The meeting was also attended by members of the central committee for deepening overall reform, as well as leaders of Party and government departments.