China's State Council to report management of state assets to top legislature
The State Council, China's cabinet, will report the condition and management of state assets to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) annually, said a key document made public on Sunday.
The State Council will submit two types of report to the top legislature, according to a guideline issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
One will be a general report on the basic conditions of several state assets, which the State Council will write and hand in annually, and send an official to talk to the lawmakers in the last year of their tenure.
The other will be a report on specific aspects of state assets, such as state-owned enterprises, state-owned financial institutions, state-run non-commercial institutions and state-owned natural resources. Besides for the last of the legislature's tenure, the State Council is required to dispatch an official to explain one of the specific reports to lawmakers every year.
The general report will include nationwide information but specific reports on state-owned enterprises and financial institutions will mainly cover those supervised by the central government.
The official explaining the reports can be the premier or senior officials in charge of state asset, according to the guideline.
The move to establish such a mechanism is "a vital decision by the CPC Central Committee to enhance supervision by the NPC over state asset and an essential system for the Party and state to tighten management of state asset," said the guideline.
"It is in line with the Constitution and law, meets people's expectation and is vital for improving transparency and credibility of management of state asset," the document said.
Over the past few years, the NPC Standing Committee has heard reports from the State Council on state asset management but they were limited to state-owned enterprises supervised by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, said a statement from the Commission for Budget Affairs under the NPC Standing Committee, also on Sunday.
"The legislature's supervision is not adequate and should be improved with new institutional measures," the statement said.
The first review is scheduled to be at a bi-monthly session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee in October this year, when a general report will be submitted and a State Council official will deliver a specific report on state-owned financial institutions, according to the commission.
What to report
According to the document, the report on state-owned enterprises and financial institutions will focus on the assets and liabilities of corporations, major investment projects, risk control, reform and salary of senior executives, while the non-commercial institutions report will center on their liabilities, reform of management, allocation, use and revenue of state asset.
The report on state-owned natural resources will be about conditions of natural resources, the mechanisms of sustainable development and environmental protection, as well as exploitation and conservation.
The State Council is asked to establish a complete and accurate database about state asset, which can be shared by relevant ministries and departments.
What to check
The NPC Standing Committee is required to organize investigations on relevant issues before reviewing the State Council's reports. They will give feedback to the State Council, which then should report to the top legislature within six months on how it addresses the relevant issues. Lawmakers can also initiate inquiries into certain issues.
Lawmakers are expected to check how major Party and government policies and reform plans about state assets are implemented, how certain laws and legislature's resolutions are enforced, how state-owned enterprises and institutions serve national strategies, provide public goods and safeguard national security, and how the State Council works to maintain the value of state asset and prevent loss.
The guideline said that the State Council reports and reviews of the NPC Standing Committee will be published, except for information banned by law.
The mechanism will be launched step by step, starting from the easiest aspect to the difficult ones, the guideline said.
State assets will be divided into different categories, some of which will be reported first and more will be added, it added.