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China trims red tape

The State Council, China's cabinet, has decided to exempt 45 more items from central government approval to reduce intervention in the economy. In a statement released Tuesday, the cabinet noted most of these items, either removed or devolved to lower levels, concern investment, employment and innovation. They include the verification of small companies for tax relief, approval of PhD research funds in higher education institutes and the approval of Web domain registration service providers. Fewer approvals by the central government will give more power to local governments and freedom to enterprises, which is believed to stimulate vitality and creativity in the market and society. The central government has cut or delegated to lower governments nearly 400 administrative approval items since the new leadership took office in March last year. In Tuesday's decision, the cabinet also canceled official certifications for 11 professions, covering a wide range of fields including international commerce, taxation, asset evaluation and land registration. The statement said the move aims to lower the thresholds for employment, create a sound environment for talent development and further stimulate people's passion for starting up businesses. (XINHUA)

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