THE NPC faces a huge backlog of legislation, congress Chairman Qiao Shi has acknowledged. In a interview to be published today by the bi-monthly China Talents, Mr Qiao said the National People's Congress had originally planned to pass 115 new laws in its current five-year term which ends in 1998. Only 59 have been examined so far and legislators now face the daunting task of completing the rest. According to Fang Weilian who is in charge of economic work in the NPC, more than 30 pending pieces of legislation are economic laws critical to China's target of setting up a legal framework to guide the country's transformation to a market economy. 'China's economic legislation is at a crucial stage,' Mr Fang said, noting that 24 of the 72 laws adopted by the NPC in the past three years were related to the economy. 'The major laws governing market operations have been passed, and the backlog in economic legislation have been dramatically altered,' he said, adding that guarantees for a unified market and fair competition were now in place. However, he said many problems had emerged during the reform process that had still to be addressed by new legislation, and he acknowledged that 'a lack of experience has created considerable difficulties for the country in making some of those laws'. Some of the 'hard nuts to crack' include drafting legislation on the management of state properties, fixed asset investment and price control, he said. In addition, fledgling industries such as securities, futures and auctioneering still require specific legislation, while laws are needed to regulate share-holding, township and individual-funded enterprises, the report said. Legislators also need to revise existing legislation that has become outdated by reform, like the bankruptcy and contract laws. Mr Fang said a draft Securities Law had now been agreed, while a revision of the Bankruptcy Law had been submitted to the ongoing NPC Standing Committee meeting. He also expressed confidence in meeting the target. 'We will redouble our effort . . . to do a better job in the drafting of legislation,' Mr Qiao said. The Chairman however said much remained to be done. 'There are some conspicuous problems . . . our laws are being ignored, violated and marginalised. Problems like these are still very serious in some areas and departments,' he said. 'We've repeatedly stressed that we must put law enforcement on an equal footing with the making of laws . . . and we must strengthen our supervision over the Government, judiciary and the procuratorate,' he said.