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China Further Regulates Approval and Filing of Investment Projects

According to an Order of the State Council signed by Premier Li Keqiang some time ago, the Regulations on the Approval and Filing of Enterprises’ Investment Projects will become effective on 1 February 2017.  

The new rules further regulate the government’s functions in approving and filing investment projects.

First, regulating project approval. All projects that concern national security issues, major productivity layout plans, strategic resources development and major public interests require approval, while other projects only need record filing. When applying for project approval, an enterprise only needs to submit its project proposal together with proofs required by law and administrative regulations as prerequisites.

Second, regulating project filing. In order to prevent record filing from becoming a disguised form of administrative approval, enterprises are required to submit information in four areas, including their general information, name of the investment project and the location, scale and specifications of construction, total investment, and industrial policy compliance statement, to the filing organ before starting construction. They will be held accountable for the truthfulness of any information given. The filing organ will file all the submitted information for record. When it is discovered that the projects filed are actually prohibited by the government’s industrial policy or require approval, it must promptly notify the enterprises concerned to make rectifications or complete the necessary approval procedures according to law and inform the departments concerned.

Third, strengthening operational and post-operational oversight. The approval and filing organs and other departments concerned must strengthen operational and post-operational oversight, implement their supervisory responsibility, and resort to online monitoring, on-site examination and other means to strengthen their supervision and inspection of the investment projects.

Fourth, optimising services. In order to increase transparency and facilitate enterprises in their work, the Regulations stipulate that all approval and filing procedures will, in principle, be completed through the government’s online project approval and supervision platform. The approval and filing organs are required to list out on this platform the relevant industrial policies and make public the procedures and time limit for approval. They must also provide the necessary inquiry services.

Fifth, implementing a stricter system of accountability. The Regulations make clear the legal responsibility of enterprises that started construction without completing the required approval procedures or did not carry out construction according to the approved location, scale and specifications, enterprises that did not fulfil their filing requirements or submitted false information to the filing organs in order to invest in construction projects prohibited by the government’s policy for the construction industry, as well as acts of dereliction of duty, abuse of power and favouritism on the part of the approval or filing organs and members of their staff.

For details of these Regulations in Chinese, please see: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2016-12/14/content_5147959.htm

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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