BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The National People's Congress, the Chinese parliament, adopted a cabinet reshuffle plan at a plenary meeting here on Thursday in a bid to reduce bureaucracy and make the government more efficient in the world' most populous country.
The endorsement of the plan will bring down the number of ministries under the State Council to 25 from 27, with the breakup of the bulky Ministry of Railways and merger of several other government departments.
In overhauling the cabinet, the central government has emphasized the most important task is to transform the government functions and reduce administrative intervention in the market and on social issues.
The institutional restructuring, an important part of China's overall plan to deepen reforms in its administrative system, is a continuation of the previous six major government reshuffles over the past three decades to create an efficient and law-based government with a clear division of power, reasonable distribution of labor and well-defined responsibilities.
The restructuring plan came after complaints about the duplication of functions, overlapping management, low efficiency and bureaucracy often lead to corruption and dereliction of duty among officials without proper supervision over administrative power.
According to the plan, the Ministry of Railways, which has long been at the center of controversy for being both a railway service provider and a railway industry watchdog, will be split into administrative and commercial units.
The Health Ministry and the National Population and Family Planning Commission, which will be merged into a new National Health and Family Planning Commission.
The status of the existing State Food and Drug Administration will be elevated to a ministerial-level general administration in order to improve food and drug safety.
The country's top oceanic administration will be restructured to bring its maritime law enforcement forces, currently scatter throughout different ministries and departments, under the unified management of a single administration.
The National Energy Administration will be restructured to streamline the administrative and regulatory systems of the energy sector.
Two media regulators, the General Administration of Press and Publication and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, will be merged into a single entity to oversee the country's press, publication, radio, film and television sectors.