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China's legislatures to improve supervision on expenditure budget, policy

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A guideline issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has outlined how Chinese legislatures' review and supervision concerning expenditure budget and relevant policies will be enhanced.

The extension is aimed at strengthening and improving the legislatures' review and supervision on budget in accordance with the law and is an important measure to establish and perfect the budget review and supervision system with Chinese characteristics, it said.

"By strengthening the people's congresses' supervision over expenditure budget and policies, the guiding and constraining effects of policies on relevant budgets will be enhanced," the guideline said, adding that relevant measures would also help ensure that the CPC Central Committee's major principles, policies and decisions are better implemented with budgetary arrangements and policies.

It said that in the past, the focus on government budget review and management and legislatures' review and supervision was the size of deficit and balance of budgeted revenue and expenditure, which did not pay enough attention to expenditure budget, policies, and the efficiency of fiscal fund and policies.

The document called for adherence to the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee.

It called for focusing on and serving the overall development of the Party and nation and promoting supply-side structural reform while carrying out review and supervision over expenditure budget and policies, so that fiscal budget and policies could better serve the central work of the Party and nation.

It stressed "a people-centered approach, regarding people's aspirations for a better life as the goal, promoting expenditure budget and policies, and ensuring and improving people's wellbeing."

The document said that carrying out budget review and supervision should strictly follow the laws, including the Constitution, the Budget Law and a supervision law.

People involved should focus on solving problems and implementing major principles, policies, decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, the document said.

The document called for strengthening review and supervision over expenditure budget and policies based on public concerns and insisting on development with both innovative and down-to-earth manners.

According to the guideline, "the supervision should cover the total amount and structure of the budgets to make sure that the budgets conform with the annual economic and social development targets set by the CPC Central Committee, the general requirements for macro-regulation of the country, relevant plans for national economy and social development, and mid-term fiscal plans."

The supervision over key expenditures and major investment projects, budgets of various Party and governmental departments, and the implementation of transfer payment budgets and policies will be intensified to ensure that relevant arrangements in the CPC Central Committee's major principles, policies and decisions are properly carried out, the document said.

The legislators will also enhance scrutiny of government debts, according to the guideline.

"Constraints over local governments' budgets will be made more binding," it said, noting that "disorderly use of debt financing for construction will be resolutely stopped and the governments' bond issuance practices will be standardized."

The National People's Congress (NPC) and its standing committee, as well as people's congresses at various levels and their standing committees, should attentively implement the CPC Central Committee's major principles, policies and decisions, fully hear opinion and suggestions, and conduct in-depth research, according to the document.

They should explore ways of organizing investigation on major issues or specific problems and carrying out special review on budget, and promote the implementation of resolutions on budget and final account by people's congresses and their standing committees, it said.

They were also asked to hear reports on major fiscal and taxation policies in a timely manner and promote supervision on budget via the Internet.

All Party committees should strengthen their leadership over the work.

The NPC and its standing committee, as well as people's congresses at various levels and their standing committees, should strengthen their review and supervision on expenditure budget and policies, while governments at all levels should actively accept supervision by people's congresses and their standing committees at the same level, it said.

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