China’s top legislature reviews reports, tightening supervision over state assets

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, will listen to and deliberate reports submitted by the State Council on the condition and management of state assets from 2018 to 2022.

Each year from 2018 to 2021, while recording and reviewing a general report handed in by the State Council on basic conditions of all sorts of state assets, the NPC Standing Committee will listen to and review a report on a specific aspect of state assets, according to a plan released by the NPC Standing Committee.

The plan was made based on a document issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in December 2017, which provided guidelines for establishing the reporting system.

A report on state-owned financial institutions was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee and deliberated in 2018, and reports on state-run non-commercial institutions, state-owned enterprises and state-owned natural resources will be submitted in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.

In addition to submitting a written general report annually, the State Council is also required to send an official to explain contents to the lawmakers in 2022, the last year of the five-year tenure of the 13th NPC Standing Committee.

Over the past few years, the State Council reported to the NPC Standing Committee over state assets management, but those reports were limited to state-owned enterprises supervised by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

According to the plan, authorities will comb through all state assets of the country and the management mechanisms of state assets in five years and will establish and improve the reporting and supervision system for condition and management of state assets.

By 2022, a reporting system that covers state assets of various categories and a system in which state assets are supervised by people’s congresses will be in place.

While calling for enhanced oversight by people’s congresses on the management of state assets, the plan also pushes for a supervision assessment system that fits various categories of state assets.

The plan also calls for efforts to legalize the reporting system under which an executive government reports condition and management of state assets to the standing committee of the people’s congress at the same level, and to formulate laws to strengthen the oversight of people’s congresses over state assets.

A feasibility study should be carried out to draft a comprehensive law on the management of state assets, the plan reads.

“The move is of great significance for improving transparency and credibility of management of state assets, consolidating and developing the basic socialist economic system with Chinese characteristics and enabling lawmakers to better perform their duties,” said Shi Yaobin, director of the Commission for Budget Affairs with the NPC Standing Committee, in an interview with Xinhua.