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No govt green light for lawbreaking

China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-15 07:18
An investor looks at share prices at a brokerage in Fuyang, Anhui province, August 10, 2018. [Photo by Wang Biao / For China Daily]

In a batch of supportive policies recently issued by the financial work office of Hubei provincial government, the office said, apart from various kinds of subsidies and policy support, "golden seed" companies that are preparing to submit applications to be listed will be leniently punished if they are found to deserve administrative punishments for wrongful behavior. Qianjiang Evening comments:

The "special pardon" policy has immediately come under fire from the public. It is justified for the people to question whether the office is empowered to make the "golden seed" enterprises exceptional in this way.

The listed companies, usually model enterprises, must receive public supervision and abide by the law. There is no reason for the provincial government to loosen the supervision over companies that are to be listed, even if they are trying to attract them to Hubei. In fact, such a practice will not offer any benefits to genuinely competitive enterprises.

Also, the policy, if implemented, will grant the law enforcement departments considerable room to seek illegal gains from their power, which will only corrupt the local business environment.

This is a shortsighted and illegal practice. Local governments may support enterprises in their localities by means of supportive policies such as offering enterprises favorable tax policies and cheap land. But this is the first time that a local government has given the green light to unlawful acts of businesses they intend to attract to their jurisdictions.

The relevant departments in Hubei may believe that this will create a favorable business environment for enterprises that can boost the local economy. But they fail to realize that what businesspeople value most in a business environment is fairness, government work efficiency, and most importantly whether the law is respected and enforced.

The office must abolish this "golden seed" policy and ensure it abides by the law.

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