Less Is More for Government

In an attempt to boost efficiency, China has announced a restructuring plan of government agencies, getting rid of the ministries of Railways and Health, among other moves.

The restructuring, the seventh inthree decades, will see the State Council (国务院) cut the number of its ministry-level bodies from 27 to 25 while reorganizing several other agencies and departments.

The plan, introduced at the nationa llegislative session on March 10, is being pushed by the country’s new leadership and reflects itspriorities to reduce waste and bureaucracy (官僚作风) and address quality-of-life issues.

“The State Council has established a framework and function system that has largely met the needs of the socialist market economy ... but still has many problems,” Ma Kai, secretary-general ofthe State Council, told the legislators.

The government is concerned about theoverlap of functions, inefficiency and bureaucracy, which has allowed corruption and neglect of duty to occur, Ma said.

Among the changes, the Ministry of Railways will be split. The ministry, which is both a policy-maker and a service provider, has long been criticized for bureaucracy and unpleasant services. Its regulatory responsibilities will now go to the Ministry of Transport and its operations toa commercial entity.

The State Food and Drug Administration will see a boost in authority to try to end the safety scandals that have been a source of public anger. According to a report delivered to the legislature, 11,251 people in total were prosecuted (起诉) for producing or selling fake drugs or toxic food last year.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission will come into existence through the merger of the Health Ministrywith the National Population and Family Planning Commission.

And two media regulators, the State Administration of Press and Publication and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, are being merged to oversee press, publication, radio, film and television.

Other important changes include restructuring the oceanic administration to enhance maritime law enforcement(海事执法) and protect marine resources.

How many ministries come into being through merging according the passage?
A 1
B 2
C 3
D 4






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