Transport ministry reform finishes
Last Updated: 2014-03-13 09:22 | Global Times
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Without giving much detail, China's Ministry of Transport Wednesday announced that it has finished reorganizing its departments as part of the super ministry reform.

According to a statement released on the ministry's official website, the State Post Bureau, the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the National Railway Administration have come under the administration of the reorganized Ministry of Transport as part of the country's push to build a comprehensive transport system.

The ministry said it would further strengthen its function in policy-making and drafting transportation network plans while transferring certain powers in administrative approval to lower-level governments.

The former railway ministry was officially dissolved in 2013 with its administrative arm merged into the Ministry of Transport, which later became the National Railway Administration. The service arm was transformed into China Railway Corporation.

The State Post Bureau and the Civil Aviation Administration officially joined the Ministry of Transport in 2008.

"Despite the reorganization, the three organs are still pretty much operating on their own and there is much to be sorted out in what role the Ministry of Transport should play," Wang Mengshu, an expert on railways and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the Global Times Wednesday.

The same problem was acknowledged by Yang Chuantang, minister of transport, who said in an interview with the Economy & Nation Weekly that the real difficulty of the reform lies in coordinating various relationships within the ministry.

"From past experience, changing the name alone will not do the work. We need to truly unite these departments into an integral ministry," said Yang, adding that the ministry is working on building a comprehensive platform that sells tickets for railroads, water routes, highways and flights.

The super ministry reform, a move to combine government departments with overlapping functions, indicates government effort to reduce administrative costs and increase efficiency.

In 2013, the State Council decided to reduce the number of ministry-level government departments to 25.

"In the super ministry reform, it's not the size of the ministry that matters but whether the reform could reduce government intervention to the market and to society," Wang Yukai, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times.

Wang said the super ministry reform is the combination of political and economic reform. If executed correctly, the reform could lead to changes such as transformation of government functions and innovation in government performance management.


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