China restructures ministries to curb corruption, bureaucracy
China on Sunday unveiled a plan to restructure government ministries to curb corruption and bureaucracy, and reduce "intervention in market and social issues", dpa reported.
The plan would create an "efficient and law-based government with clear division of power," by merging some ministries and devolving powers to regional governments, State Councillor Ma Kai told delegates to the annual National People's Congress, the ruling Communist Party's state parliament.
It would abolish the Ministry of Railways, which has been accused of large-scale corruption, by merging its main functions with the Ministry of Transport and setting up a company to handle it commercial operations, Ma said in a report.
The plan aimed to eliminate overlapping ministerial responsibilities and was a response to public calls to "boost government transparency and efficiency and curb corruption."
The National Population and Family Planning Commission, which has overseen China's controversial population controls, would be merged with the Ministry of Health.
Another measure outlined on Sunday would eliminate or simplify ministerial approval processes for investment projects.
An expanded National Oceanic Administration would take over coastguard functions from the police, customs, fisheries and other agencies to improve protection of China's maritime rights, the report said.
The congress is scheduled to approve the restructuring plan and the appointment of new state leaders and ministers by the close of its two-week meeting on March 17.