The social and economic development guided by planning, is an important approach of the Party carrying out its administration and is also an important delivery of Chinese Socialist Development Mood. Formulating and implementing the National Development Plan (NDP) scientifically, elaborating the strategic deployment and specific arrangement of the goal of building the great modern socialist country, guiding the direction of public resources’ allocation, regulating the behavior of market entities, are good for keeping the continuity and stability of national strategy, concentrating our power on major events, ensuring fully completing the blueprint from top to bottom. Since the Reform and Opening up, especially since the 18th National Congress of Communist Party of China (CPC), the NDP has received even more obvious enhancement on its efforts to innovate and optimize the macro-control and has shown even more efforts of improving the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance. However, problems like disunity of planning system, discordance between the planning goals and policy tools are still serious, which restrains the full realization of the guiding performance of the NDP. In order to accelerate the construction of unified planning system and coordination mechanisms between the development planning and the finance, banking policies, and to better realize the guiding performance of the NDP, opinions are raised as below:
Follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Fully implement the spirits of the 19th CPC National Congress and the second, third plenary sessions of the 19th CPC Central Committee. Strengthen the leadership of the Party in all respects. Adhere to the people-centered development thought. Firmly establish the new development philosophy. Meet the requirements of high-quality development. Make clear the relations of plans. Unify the planning system. Improve the planning management. Upgrade the planning quality. Enhance the coordination of policies. Perfect the implementation mechanisms. Accelerate the establishment of a planning system with sound institution, compliance with science and regulation, and effective execution. Better realize the strategic guiding effort of the NDP. Provide powerful support for innovating and improving the macro-control, promoting the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance, and building the great modern socialist country.
2.Making Clear the Function Positions and Relations of Plans
Based on new situations, new tasks, and new requirements, clarify the functions of various plans, and the relationships between the National Development Planning with State-level Specific Planning, Regional Planning and Spatial Planning, avoiding cross-repeated and conflicts.
(1)Making Clear the Function Positions of Plans
The National Development Planning, namely Outline Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China, is the periodical deployment and arrangement of socialist modernization strategy in the planning period. It mainly elaborates the country's strategic intention, clarifies the government's priorities, and guides and regulates the behavior of market entities. It is a magnificent blueprint for economic and social development, a common program of action for Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and an important basis for the governments to perform their duties of economic regulation, market supervision, social management, public services, and ecological and environmental protection.
State-level Specific Planning is an important basis for guiding the development of specific fields, arranging major engineering projects, rationally allocating public resources, guiding the investment of social capital and formulating relevant policies. State-level Regional Planning is an important basis for guiding the development of specific regions and formulating relevant policies. State-level Spatial Planning, which mainly focuses on spatial governance and spatial structure optimization, is an important basis for territorial space utilization control and ecological protection and restoration.
(2)Making Clear the Relations of Plans
The National Development Plan is prepared by the State Council, in accordance with the Advice of Preparing Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development，which is proposed by the CPC Central Committee, examined and approved by the National People's Congress. The NDP stands at the top of the planning system and is the general follow of all kinds of planning at other levels.
State-level Specific Planning, Regional Planning and Spatial Planning, shall be formulated in accordance with the NDP. State-level Specific Planning shall specify and implement the strategic tasks set forth in the NDP for specific fields and shall be formulated by the relevant departments of the State Council. Key special plans at the national level shall be submitted to the State Council for examination and approval, except those expressly requested by the CPC Central Committee. State-level Regional Planning shall specify and implement the strategic tasks set out in the NDP for specific regions and shall be formulated by the relevant departments under the State Council and submitted to the State Council for examination and approval. State-level Spatial Planning shall specify and implement the requirements for territorial space development and protection set forth in the NDP and shall be formulated by relevant departments under the State Council and submitted to The State Council for examination and approval. If the duration of the State-level Specific Planning, Regional Planning or Spatial Planning is inconsistent with that of the NDP, the objectives and tasks of the plan shall be adjusted or revised in due time in accordance with the strategic arrangements of the NDP for the corresponding period. State-level Spatial Planning is enabled with the functions of spatial guidance and constraint on State-level Specific Planning.
3.Unifying the Planning System and Creating Synergy of Plans
Stick to the principals that the inferior follows the superior, the lower levels serve the upper and the equal levels coordinates with each other. Establish a National Planning System which is leaded by the NDP, based on the Spatial Planning, supported by the Specific Planning and Regional Planning, and composed of planning from state, provincial, municipal, and county levels, with accurate positioning, clear boundary, complementary functions, and unified cohesion.
(3)Strengthening the Leading Role of the National Development Planning
Improve the nature of the NDP as strategy, macro scope, and policy, and strengthen the guidance and constraint. Focus on things which matter the long-term development of the country, in terms of the big strategies, the key policies crossing sectors, and the major projects crossing regions with wholly influences. Transforming the Party’s views into the Nation’s will and providing principles for all kinds of planning systems to follow.
Realize the function of the NDP in coordinating major strategies and measures in time and space, define the spatial strategic pattern, the direction for improving the spatial structure, and the layout of major productivity, and leave interfaces for the State-level Spatial Planning. Select scientifically key areas that need to be concentrated on breakthroughs and key areas that need to be developed or protected. Provide basis for determining and proceeding the catalogue of State-level key Specific Plans, and the Annual Programs of Approving for Regional Plans.
(4)Strengthening the Fundamental Role of the Spatial Planning
State-level Spatial Planning should focus on the intensity control of spatial development and the implementation of main controlling line, achieve a comprehensive understanding and analysis of the basic conditions of the territorial space, demarcate the space for cities and towns, agriculture, and ecology, together with the Ecological Protection Red line, the Permanent Prime Farmland, and the Urban Development Boundaries. Take these as a carrier to coordinate all kinds of space control methods, to integrate which into a spatial plan with "multiple plans in one".
Strengthen the basic and platform functions of the State-level Spatial planning in spatial development and protection, provide spatial guarantee for the implementation of major strategic tasks set out in the NDP, and guide and restrict development and protection activities such as infrastructure, urban construction, resources and energy, and ecological and environmental protection proposed in other plans.
(5)Strengthening the Supporting Role of the Specific Planning and Regional Planning
In principle, the domain of the State-level Specific Planning is restricted in the market failure areas which are related to the overall national economic and social development and need the central government to take its responsibilities. Among them, State-level key Specific Plans, should be strictly limited to the preparation catalogue and should be deployed, studied, and formulated at the same time as the NDP. State-level Specific Planning should focus on the key tasks set out in specific areas by the NDP, formulate detailed timetables and roadmaps for their implementation, and make them more targeted and operational.
State-level Regional Planning mainly sets targets on the key areas, across administrative regions with close social and economic linkages, and particular areas undertaking major strategic tasks. Key points lie in implementing major regional strategies, coordinating, and solving major problems across administrative regions. Highlight the regional characteristics, and guide specific regions for coordinated and synergistic development.
Province-level, city-level and county-level plans should be formulated in accordance with the NDP. They should not only link up with the State-level Specific Planning, Regional Planning and Spatial Planning, making the whole country as one chess board, but also adapt to local conditions and highlight local characteristics.
4.Coordinating the Management of Planning and Enhancing the Coordination of Plans
(6)Establishing and Perfecting the Catalogue Management System for Planning Preparation
State-level Specific Planning, Regional Planning, to be submitted to the State Council for approval, of which the Preparation Catalogue or Approval Program, shall be formulated by the development and reform department of the State Council in conjunction and coordination with relevant departments, and submitted to the State Council for approval and implementation. For State-level Spatial Planning, to be submitted to the State Council for approval, of which the Preparation Catalogue, shall be formulated by the department in charge of natural resources of the State Council in conjunction with the development and reform department, and be submitted the State Council for approval and implementation. All plans formulated or approved by departments under the State Council on their own, shall be submitted to the development and reform department under the State Council for recording. Except as expressly required by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, no plan that has not been included in the catalogue or approved plan shall, in principle, be prepared or approved for implementation. In principle, no planning shall be prepared for routine work of each department or tasks whose implementation duration is less than 3 years.
(7)Strengthening the Coordination of Plans
Establish and perfect a sound mechanism for planning linking and coordination, make clear the principles and priorities for linking, regulate linking procedures, and ensure coordination of all types of planning at all levels. Plans submitted to the CPC Central Committee or the State Council for approval must be overall linked with the NDP in advance. The focuses for linking lie in planning targets, especially obligatory targets, development directions, overall layout, key policies, major projects, and risk prevention and control. Review and demonstration could be conducted by the development and reform department of the State Council in conjunction with the planning department, when necessary. Provincial Development Planning shall be submitted to the department of development and reform of the State Council for coordination according to procedures. Strengthen the linking between State-level Specific Planning, Regional Planning and Spatial Planning to ensure their implementation.
(8)Realizing the Efforts of Planning Management Information System
The development and reform department of the State Council shall build the comprehensive management information platform for national planning, based on the existing administrative information platform, and strengthen the linkage with related government affairs module, and the share of information. All kinds of planning should be brought into the unified management, strengthening planning linking and coordinating, track and supervise the preparation and implementation process of planning, promote the connectivity and collection of the basic information of planning.
5.Regulating the Preparation of Plans and Improving the Quality of Plans
Innovate the concept of planning, regulate the procedures of planning preparation, improve the level of scientific, democratic, legal and standardized for planning preparation. Ensure that planning is practical and effective.
(9)Making Clear the Basic Principles of Planning Formulating
The preparation of the planning must follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, closely focus on the grand goal of building China into a great modern socialist country, adhere to the people-centered development philosophy, apply the new development philosophy throughout the entire process of economic and social development at all-aspects. Follow the requirements of high-quality development, focus on the coordinated implementation for the “Five-Sphere” Integrated Plan and the “Four-Pronged” Comprehensive Strategy, ensuring that plans better reflect the characteristics of time’s and complies with the requirements of China's development strategy.
Integrate Goal-Orientation and Problem-Orientation, take domestic and global perspective into consideration, coordinate comprehensive planning with focus on key issues, and combine strategy with operability. Combine the real with the virtual and be practical and effective. While emphasizing the role of strategic guidance, attach importance to force of constraint and operability, so that plans can be checked and evaluated easily.
(10)Deepening the Research and Demonstration of Major Problems
Expand the breadth and depth of studies in the preliminary stage of planning, conduct in-depth studies on major issues of overall, forward-looking, critical and deep-seated significance in national economic and social development, make scientific studies on development trends and stage features, accurately grasp major weaknesses and the direction of development, and study and propose basic ideas and solutions. Strengthen the demonstration of the content of the plan from multiple perspectives and the comparison and selection of different programs. Give full consideration to factors supporting conditions, resource and environmental constraints, and prevention of major risks. Scientifically calculate and banlance the planning objectives and indicators, and conduct in-depth studies on the necessity, feasibility, and impact of the implementation of main constructions, major projects, and key policies.
(11)Innovating the Approaches and Methodologies of Planning Preparation
Open the door for planning preparation and improve the transparency and social participation of planning. Perfect the mechanism for public participation, ask the people for their needs and advice, encourage the free airing of views, and listen to people’s opinions and suggestions widely. Expand the scope of soliciting comments on planning, release draft plans or drafts for soliciting opinions in due course at appropriate times, and fully solicit opinions and suggestions from the public. Make comprehensive use of big data, cloud computing and other modern information technologies to innovate the means of planning formulation. Give full play to the role of research institutions and think tanks in supporting the formulation of the planning.
(12)Setting Rigorous Procedures for Planning Preparation
Establish and perfect institutions in terms of drafting, linking, reviewing, approving, and releasing plans, etc. Regulate the work program of planning preparation, and clarifying the basis, schedule, linkage requirements, demonstration methods and approving authorities. Complete the jobs well on advice soliciting of planning, content cohesion, etc, according to the prescribed procedures. Perfect the expert consultation and demonstration system, invite experts in related fields to scientifically demonstrate the contents of the plan and issue demonstration reports. Regulate the approval requirements including draft planning (for approval), drafting instructions and demonstration reports, etc. Clarify the limits of approval of the authorities. Plan shall be issued and implemented according to procedures, after approved by the authorities.
6.Highlighting the Guidance of Planning and Enhancing the Coordination of Policies
Insist on setting the direction by planning, with fiscal and financial policies as guarantees and support, and other policies coordinated. Establish mechanisms for coordinating development plans, fiscal and financial policies, and work in concert. Perfect the mechanism which implements the NDP by annual planning and ensure a smooth implementation of the NDP.
(13)Strengthening the Coordination between the Annual Planning and the National Development Planning
According to the requirements of connecting and coordinating between short term and long term policies, annual planning shall implement development targets and key tasks raised by the NDP, and incorporate the main decomposed indicators into the annual index system, set up the annual target and make comprehensive balance between annual, combined with the situation to determine the annual key work. To make clear the annual requirements of implementation for main construction, major projects and key measures.
(14)Strengthening the Guarantee of Financial Policies for the National Development Planning
The financial department of the State Council shall formulate financial plans that match the NDP to better serve the strategic objectives and task requirements set forth in the NDP. Strengthen the coordination between the fiscal budget and the implementation of the plan, Overall plan the financial resources and make reasonably arrangement for the scale and structure of fiscal expenditure. Central government funds gives priorities to the major tasks and projects set forth in the NDP.
(15)Strengthening the Guarantee of Banking Policies for the National Development Planning
In accordance with the major strategic tasks specified in the NDP, special plans in the financial sector shall be formulated to guide the direction and structure of resource allocation of financial elements. To determine the orientation of monetary policy, full consideration should be made to the goals of the NDP and the situation of economic development. Credit policies shall actively support the major strategies, main constructions, major projects, and key reform measures identified in the NDP, and guide and encourage banking financial institutions to focus on supporting key areas and weak parts identified in the NDP.
(16)Strengthening the Effort of Guiding and Restraining of the National Development Planning to Industrial Policies, Regional Policies, etc.
Industrial policy shall concentrate on adjustment for the industrial development and structure, determined by the NDP, highlight the functions, strengthen the inclusive fair, improve the market mechanism, and benefit orientation mechanism, give full play to the decisive role of market resources allocation, create the market environment where competitions are encouraged innovations are promoted. Stimulate the enthusiasm and creativity of market participants and give a reasonable guide to the market expectations and the behaviors of market participants.
7.Completing the Mechanisms of Implementation and Ensuring the Effectively Realization of Plans
Follow the basic principle that the organizer of the planning implementation should be the one who takes the lead in the preparation. Fulfill the responsibility for the implementation of the plan, improve monitoring and evaluation, strengthen implementation by category, and improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the plan.
(17)Enhancing the Evaluation of Planning Implementation
Departments which prepare the planning should organize annual monitoring and analysis, mid-term evaluation and summary evaluation for the implementation of planning. Third-party evaluation is encouraged. Strengthen the application of monitoring and evaluation results. The mid-term evaluation of NDP shall, in light of new changes and requirements in the development environment at home and abroad, focus on progress and problems assessing in implementation, and put forward suggestions for further implementation. The evaluation report shall be submitted to the State Council for approval and then to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for deliberation. The evaluation results of State-level Specific Planning, Regional Planning and Spatial Planning shall be reported to the subject of examination and approval and copied and forwarded to the development and reform department of the State Council.
(18)Perfecting the Mechanisms of Dynamic Adjusting and Revising for Plans
Strengthen the authority and seriousness of plans and shall not adjust or alter any kind of plans without approval of legal procedures. If it is necessary to adjust or revise the NDP after assessment, the content of the plan shall be adjusted and improved in light of the new situation and new requirements. The State Council shall put forward a proposal for adjustment with the consent of the Central Committee of the CPC and submit it to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for examination and approval. After the revision of the NDP, relevant State-level Planning shall be adjusted or revised accordingly. The department of planning formulation shall put forward suggestions, and summit to the original approving subject for approval, after verified and demonstrated by the department of development and reform of the State Council.
(19)Improving the Mechanisms of Supervision and Examination for Planning Implementation
All planning departments should take the implementation of their plans as an important part of government information disclosure, publicize the progress of their implementation in a timely manner, and consciously accept the supervision of the People's Congresses, auditing, and the public. The implementation of the NDP shall be incorporated into the assessment and evaluation system for the leading groups and officials at all relevant departments and local governments. Explore the linkage between the planning implementation results with the performance of the subjects being assessed.
(20)Perfecting the Mechanisms of Planning Approval and Implementation
Establish and perfect the working mechanism for NDP which is leaded by the Party Committees, approved by People's Congresses, and formulated and implemented by the governments. The NDP shall be formulated in accordance with the suggestions from the CPC Central Committee on formulating the Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development. Major progress shall be reported to the CPC Central Committee in a timely manner. The National People's Congress examines and approves the NDP and supervises their implementation in accordance with the law. The State Council shall formulate and implement the NDP and strengthen management of other plans in accordance with the requirements of optimization, coordination and efficiency.
(21)Improving the Laws and Regulations
Accelerate the legislation of laws on development planning, by which formalize the effective experience and practices. According to the spirit of this opinion, the existing laws and regulations related to development planning and departmental rules shall be sorted out, and the enactment, amendment, repeal and interpretation of relevant laws and regulations and departmental rules shall be promoted according to the problems found.
The preparation and implementation of the various related planning at provincial level and below, could be carried out with reference to this Opinion.
Translated by Zheng Shujian