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Updated: 2015-12-09 08:10


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Li tells of his brushes with red tape

Premier Li Keqiang has described the levels of bureaucracy he once faced to get projects approved.

He delivered this insight on Monday when he outlined frequent visits he made to the National Development and Reform Commission when he was governor of Henan province from 1999 to 2003, seeking approval for its development projects.

Li was speaking at the end of a visit to the commission.

"I knew this building very well. I frequently visited it to call on the minister, the department directors and other officials," the premier said.

He said he had to go through complicated procedures to get projects approved, adding that streamlining approval procedures is the key to ensuring that government reforms are carried out smoothly.

Since taking office, Li has pledged to cut the red tape that has long impaired efficiency. More than a third of the items requiring approval have either been scrapped or delegated to lower-level government departments.

The commission, which handles approval for major infrastructure construction and other investment projects, was once dubbed a "junior State Council".

Gao Yang, who runs an electric vehicle company in Beijing and was applying for new projects during Li's visit to the commission, said: "People used to line up and wait at the gate of the NDRC early in the morning, hoping to win approval for their projects.

"Procedures have since been simplified a lot. You can even apply online first before coming here to get final approval."


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