BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature on Monday started to review a series of draft laws and amendments, including those on trademarks, protection of consumers' rights and asset appraisal.
At a bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, from Monday to Friday, lawmakers will review the third reading of the draft amendment to the Trademark Law, which is likely to raise the compensation ceiling for trademark infringements to 3 million yuan (about half a million U.S. dollars), six times the current limit.
The draft promises harsher punishment for malicious registration of trademarks and changes clauses regarding the examination period of applications for trademark registration to make it more efficient.
The session was presided over by Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee.
Lawmakers are also deliberating changes to the consumer rights law dealing with unconditional returns and false advertising.
The draft amendment, tabled for a second reading, will specify items that call for a seven-day period allowing shoppers to unconditionally return merchandise for refunds.
The new draft clarified certain products not suitable for unconditional return and suggested heavier crackdown on commercial fraud, including deceptive advertising and fake goods.
Those designing, making and publicizing false advertising of products or services that affect consumer health and cause harm should bear joint liability, the draft said.
Also reviewed at the meeting was the draft asset evaluation law, which is likely to raise the threshold for China's registered appraisers to ensure quality service and clients' rights.
China now has almost 10,000 appraisal institutions, with more than 100,000 registered appraisers and 300,000 people employed in the field.
The draft banned appraisers from using unjust measures such as cheating, bribery or coercion to win contracts. It stipulates registration of public appraisers, obligations and rights of evaluation institutions, supervision over the appraisal industry, and penalties for violations.
On Monday afternoon, the State Council, the Chinese cabinet, submitted a draft proposal which authorized suspension of laws in the pilot free trade zone to be built in Shanghai, including the Law on Foreign-Capital Enterprises, Law on Chinese-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures, Law on Chinese-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures, and Law on Protection of Cultural Relics.
If the draft is approved, a "negative list" approach - a way of deciding what not to do, rather than what to do - would be employed in foreign investment management, continuing opening up.
China's legislators called for greater support for renewable energy which is facing obstacles in planning, purchases, subsidies and technology.
Development of renewable energy must be a priority, with clear goals. Renewable energy prices and subsidies should be improved and innovation encouraged, said Chen Changzhi, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee.
Despite progress, it was found that planning in some regions did not follow the national program and the full-amount purchase system for electricity generated by renewable energy has not been fully implemented, Chen said.
During the coming days, lawmakers will be briefed about the work of the State Council, including the progress in this year's national economic and social development plan, budget implementation, as well as infectious disease prevention and control.
Two amendments to the Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants listing nine new pollutants and endosulfan, an insecticide, will also be reviewed for approval during the session.