THE head of China's National People's Congress (NPC), Qiao Shi, yesterday insisted that the role of the national parliament in running state affairs be strengthened, and announced the formulation of a blueprint. The NPC leader reportedly told lawmakers in Beijing that they should speed up the preparation of the reform blueprint so that it would be ready for discussion at next year's full session of the legislature. Speaking during a two-day meeting with heads of eight NPC special committees, Mr Qiao reiterated that the NPC must strengthen its role, especially in the drafting of economic laws. ''At the same time, Qiao said, the special committees should look into the enforcement of laws and exercise supervision over the Government's work,'' Xinhua (the New China News Agency) reported. The NPC could also strengthen its influence through increasing contact with foreign lawmaking bodies and international organisations, Mr Qiao said. He also urged the lawmakers to put forward a five-year agenda to guide the work of the NPC. In addition to the reform blueprint he said it was crucial that the lawmakers explore the possibility of a new legal framework that would match the needs of an emerging socialist market economy in China. Mr Qiao demanded that the basic concepts of the new framework should be ready in two years. To achieve that, they must ''arm their mind with the theories of Deng Xiaoping on the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics'', he said. Yesterday's speech was the third by Mr Qiao in less than two weeks in which he has stressed the significant role of the legislature.