Shanghai will spearhead a national campaign to regulate the business activities of senior officials' relatives, with the move expected later this year, says the city's top party boss. Addressing a panel discussion at the National People's Congress, Shanghai Communist Party secretary Han Zheng said the city was seeking opinions on the draft rule and hoped it could help discipline high-level officials when it took effect in the second quarter. The announcement came just one day after President Xi Jinping backed the plan, urging Shanghai to create a model that could be expanded to other parts of the mainland, although he acknowledged possible difficulties in reconciling the restrictions with existing laws. Xi's crackdown on corruption has put pressure on officials who abuse their position to enrich themselves or their relatives. "High-level officials who have more power on their hands will be strictly supervised and regulated," Han said. The city would strongly adhere to the rule in dealing with cases in the future, he said. There is speculation that under Shanghai's new rule, spouses and children of top officials would be barred from doing business on their own, or at least barred from ventures in areas that fall under the bureaucrats' purview. Han and mayor Yang Xiong have been under the spotlight since responsibility for the New Year's Eve Bund stampede, which killed 36 people, fell on Huangpu district officials. Asked at yesterday's open session of the Shanghai delegation whether his political career would be affected by the tragedy, Han turned a wry smile and nearly stuttered, saying the handling of the issue should be based on rules and regulations. In another question on the stampede, Han said he "felt pain every time that he spoke of it". In a separate interview with Xinhua, Han criticised officials for shirking their duty in pushing ahead with difficult reforms. They lacked "the willingness to shoulder responsibilities and take up the tasks". Han said more emphasis would be put on assessing their performances in critical areas.