Beijing unveils major plan to revamp govt

BEIJING China is merging its banking and insurance regulators and creating a slew of ministries as part of the biggest government shake-up in years.

The move to streamline and tighten oversight of the US$42 trillion (S$55 trillion) banking and insurance sectors comes as authorities seek more clout to crack down on riskier lending practices.

Details were released in a parliamentary document yesterday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's allies are expected to get top appointments, including the chair of the National People's Congress, or Parliament, and National Supervisory Commission.

The merger of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) is aimed at resolving problems such as unclear responsibilities and cross-regulation. The new entity will report to the State Council, or Cabinet.

The CBRC and CIRC functions of making laws and regulations will be transferred to People's Bank of China.

China's securities regulator - the China Securities Regulatory Commission - will remain a separate entity.

The government will also create seven new ministries: natural resources; ecological environment; emergency management; agriculture and rural affairs; culture and tourism; veterans affairs; and the National Health Commission.

China also proposed forming a national markets supervision management bureau, which will take on the pricing supervision and anti-monopoly law enforcement role from the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Commerce and State Council.

The National Council for Social Security Fund led by former finance minister Lou Jiwei will be managed by the Finance Ministry, instead of the State Council.

The proposals will be discussedand are expected to be approved by the largely rubber-stamp Parliament on Saturday. - REUTERS