China plans to create five "superministries"

Other News Materials 11 March 2008 12:43 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - China on Tuesday announced a government restructuring that would create five "superministries" under a plan that includes improving the efficiency and influence of environmental authorities.

Superministries would be created for energy and environmental protection, transportation, housing and construction, industry and information, and human resources and social security, the government said shortly before the 3,000-strong National People's Congress is to vote on the issue.

The Congress is now meeting in Beijing in its annual gathering to endorse plans by the ruling Communist Party.

The plan would elevate the environmental protection agency to a ministry.

The Health Ministry would also monitor food and pharmaceutical safety, according to the text of a speech by State Councilor Hua Jianmin, who is also secretary general of the cabinet. The text was distributed by the official news agency Xinhua.