Zhu Rongji

Ministries closed in shake-up

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 12:00am

Beijing has abolished nine ministries to further streamline the government bureaucracy and enhance efficiency.

Minister of the State Economic and Trade Commission Sheng Huaren announced the move, effective immediately, Xinhua reported yesterday.

The action, approved by the State Council, or cabinet, is the latest in Beijing's continuing effort to reform the bureaucracy as China moves towards a market economy.

Ministries abolished are: State Internal Trade Bureau, Ministry of Coal Industry, Ministry of Machinery Industry, Ministry of Metallurgical Industry, State Petroleum and Chemical Industry Bureau, State Light Industry Bureau, State Textile Industry Bureau, State Construction Materials Industry Bureau, State Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Bureau.

Their operations will be absorbed into the State Economic and Trade Commission.

Many H shares and red chips are units of these ministries.

For example, the construction concern Onfem Holdings is controlled by the State Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Bureau.

The last major restructuring of the central government organisation took place in 1998, soon after Zhu Rongji became premier.

A substantial overhaul of the government structure included the merger of more than 20 ministries and a restructuring of the People's Bank of China, the central bank.

The 1998 restructuring was also accompanied by a plan to lay off and transfer some 16,000 central government officials within three years.

The organisational change is key to reform of state owned enterprise.