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Procedures of the National People's Congress Sessions

03-01-2014 21:54 BJT

The state organs of the People's Republic of China act on the principle of democratic centralism. While give full to democracy, the NPC exercises powers and make decisions collectively.

Convocation of sessions. NPC sessions are held in the first quarter of the year and are called by the NPC Standing Committee. The first session of each NPC is called by the Standing Committee of the previous NPC within two months following the completion of the election of the deputies. A session is not considered valid unless two-thirds or more of all NPC deputies attend.

Forms of sessions. During an NPC session, plenary meetings and meetings of delegations are held. The main tasks of plenary meetings are to listen to the work reports by the NPC Standing Committee, the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate; to listen to the report on the implementation of the plan for national economic and social development and on the draft plan for national economic and social development; to listen to the report on the implementation of the central and local budgets and on the draft plan for the central and local budgets; to listen to the testimony made by the sponsors of bills submitted to the session for deliberation; to vote on bills; and to elect, appoint or remove personnel in Central Government departments in accordance with the law. There are two kinds of meetings of delegations, plenary meetings and workshops. The main responsibilities of plenary meetings are to examine and approve the reports and bills on the session's agenda.

Submitting bills. The Presidium of the NPC session, the Standing Committee and the special committees of the NPC, the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court or the Supreme People's Procuratorate, may submit a bill to the NPC within the scope of its authority. The Presidium decides whether the bill should be put on the session's agenda or not; or it may do so after the bill is referred to the special committee concerned for examination and decision on its inclusion on the agenda.

Examining work reports. During an annual NPC session, the NPC Standing Committee, the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate present their work reports at the session. After the reports are examined by the delegations, the session may make resolutions on them.

Deliberating bills. A bill on the session's agenda is first explained by its sponsor at a plenary meeting, and then is deliberated at meetings of delegations and special committees, after which reports on the deliberations are made. Based on suggestions by delegations and special committees, the Law Committee undertakes a unified deliberation of the bill and submits a report on the results of the deliberations and a revised draft law to the presidium of the session. After review and approval by the presidium, the revised bill is printed and distributed to the session and voted on at a plenary meeting.

Examining state plans and budgets. One month before the NPC session is held, the relevant competent departments of the State Council should brief the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the NPC and appropriate special committees on the new plan for national economic and social development and the implementation of the previous as well as the newly drafted local and central budgets and the implementation of the previous central budget for the preliminary examination of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee. When the NPC holds a session, the State Council should submit these reports to the session, and print and distribute to the session the main targets in the draft plan for national economic and social development, the statement of revenue and expenditures in the draft state budget, and the draft report on the implementation of the state budget for examination by all delegations, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee and other appropriate special committees. Based on suggestions by delegations and other appropriate special committees, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee examines the new plan for national economic and social development and the implementation of the previous as well as the newly drafted local and central budgets and the implementation of the previous central budget, and it submits reports on the results of this examination to the Presidium.

Once reviewed and approved by the Presidium, the reports are printed and distributed to the session, and the draft resolution on the new plan and on the implementation of the previous one and the draft resolution on the new budgets and on the implementation of the previous central budget are voted on at a plenary meeting. After the state plan and the central budget are approved by the NPC, proposals for partial adjustments to them that prove necessary in the course of their implementation are submitted by the State Council to the NPC Standing Committee for examination and approval.

Voting on bills. Bills are voted on at plenary meetings of the NPC, and they will be adopted if a simple majority of all deputies vote for them. An amendment to the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote to be passed. Voting results are announced by the Chairman of the meeting when the voting is completed. After a bill becomes law, the President of the People's Republic of China signs a decree to promulgate it. After an amendment to the Constitution is adopted, it is promulgated by the Presidium of the NPC session.

At an NPC session, the Presidium decides whether to vote on bills by ballot, show of hands or some other method. Voting on amendments to the Constitution is always by ballot.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: www.npc.gov.cn

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