Main Functions of the NDRC

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is a ministerial-level department of the State Council. 

The NDRC implements the CPC Central Committee’s policies and decisions on development and reform, and adheres to and strengthens the party’s centralized and unified leadership over development and reform in the process of performing its duties. The main functions undertaken by the NDRC include:  

1. To formulate and implement strategies on national economic and social development, medium and long-term development plans and annual plans; to lead a unified planning mechanism. To coordinate state-level special plans, regional plans, geospatial development plans as well as national development plans; to draft plans, laws and regulations on national economic and social development, economic system reform, and opening up to the outside world, and to formulate departmental rules and regulations.  

2. To formulate overall objectives on accelerating the establishment of modern economic system and promoting high-quality development, to set major tasks and relevant policies. To organize assessment and monitoring over major strategic plans, major policies and projects, and to put forward proposals for adjustment.  

3. To set major targets for economic and social development, monitor and predict the trend of social and macro-economic development, and to propose recommendations on macro-control measures; to coordinate the implementation of macro-economic policies, and research into macro-economic response measures; to adjust economic development and coordinate to solve major problems related to the issue; to draft and implement price policies, and set the prices and charging standards of important commodities and services that are regulated by the state; and to participate in the drafting of fiscal, monetary and land policies.  

4. To guide, promote and coordinate the reform of economic system and propose suggestions; to advance the supply-side structural reform and promote the reform of property ownership system and market-based allocation of production factors; to improve the basic economic system and build a modern market system, and work with relevant agencies to implement the negative list system for market access; and play a leading role in improving business environment.  

5. To formulate strategies, plans and policies for utilizing foreign capital, conducting overseas investment and achieving aggregate balance and optimizing structure; to play a leading role in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, and to undertake and coordinate China’s “go global” strategy. To work with relevant agencies to formulate the negative list for foreign investment in China, and to take charge in controlling, monitoring and optimizing the structure of the total size of China’s foreign debt.  

6. To take charge in the overall management of investment, set the overall scale of fixed asset investment of the society, formulate structural adjustment targets and relevant policies, and work with other agencies to decide the government’s mandate in approving investment projects, and formulate the catalog for government-approved fixed investment projects; to arrange fiscal spending on economic construction, and to approve, authorize and review key projects according to the requirement of the State Council; and to plan the layout of key construction projects and productivity, and draft policies and measures to encourage private-sector investment.  

7. To advance and implement strategies for coordinated regional development, the new urbanization strategy and other major policies, and formulate regional development plans and policies, and coordinate the implementation of major strategies for regional development; to formulate development plans and policies for old industrial bases, regions of minority ethnic groups, rural areas and impoverished regions, and organize poverty alleviation through relocation; to coordinate regional cooperation and pairing assistance programs, and formulate, advance and implement new urbanization plans.  

8. To draft comprehensive industrial policies, coordinate key issues in the development of primary, secondary and tertiary industries as well as balance and coordinate industrial development with relevant plans and major policies; to coordinate and advance the construction of major infrastructure projects, and organize the formulation and advance the implementation of strategic planning and major policies for the tertiary industry and modern logistics industry; to comprehensively study the changing trend of consumption in China, and draft comprehensive policies and measures to boost consumer spending.  

9. To promote the implementation of innovation-driven development strategies, work with relevant departments to formulate plans and policies for innovation and entrepreneurship, and propose policies for innovative development and fostering new growth drivers. To work with relevant departments to plan the layout of major national scientific and technological infrastructures, formulate and implement policies for high-tech industries and strategic emerging industries, and coordinate major issues such as industrial upgrading and the promotion and application of major technological equipment. 

10. To track, study and evaluate risks, and propose suitable measures. To maintain the overall balance and macro-control of important commodities, and work with relevant departments to formulate a catalog of national reserve materials and overall development plans. 

11. To coordinate policies for social development and national economic development, and coordinate major issues related. To formulate social development strategies and overall plans, coordinate the construction of the basic public service system and the reform of the income distribution system, and put forward policies and proposals for promoting employment and advancing the coordinated development of social security and the economy, and take the lead in building a social credit system. 

12. To promote the implementation of sustainable development strategies, advance the construction and reform of ecological civilization, and coordinate ecological and environmental protection and restoration, energy and resource conservation and comprehensive utilization; to put forward policies and measures to improve the compensation mechanism for ecological protection, and coordinate the environmental protection industry and clean production. To put forward and implement energy consumption control targets and tasks. 

13. To work with relevant departments to formulate strategies and plans to coordinate economic construction and national defense, and coordinate major issues related. To formulate national economic mobilization plans, and coordinate the implementation of economic mobilization. 

14. To undertake specific tasks of the National Defense Mobilization Committee, the Western Region Development Leading Group of the State Council, the State Council’s Leading Group for the Revitalization of Old Industrial Bases in Northeast China, the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, the Leading Group for Coordinated Development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, the Leading Group for Promoting the Development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the  Leading Group of Developing Guangdong-HK-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Leading Group for All-round Reform and Opening-up in Hainan, etc.  

15. To manage the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration and the National Energy Administration.  

16. To undertake other tasks assigned by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. 

17. Functions transformation:  
The NDRC implements the new development concept and focuses primarily on managing macro matters and major issues of the country. It’s committed to strengthening the coordination of major strategic planning, major reforms, and major projects across departments, regions and industries, and improving the quality and efficiency of economic development through reform and innovation. The NDRC will cut its mandate in managing micro-issues and approving specific programs, and will minimize the role played by government in allocating market resources and direct government intervention in market activities, improve the efficiency and fairness of resource allocation, and stimulate the vitality of market players. 

(1) Strengthen the functions of formulating national strategies and unified planning system, improve the national planning system, enhance planning and coordination, streamline and improve the quality of planning, and better leverage the role of national development strategies and plans. 

(2) Improve macro-control system, innovate control methods, build a coordination mechanism for development plans, fiscal and financial policies; strengthen economic monitoring, forecasting and early warning capabilities, establish and improve mechanisms for studying major issues, and make macro-control more forward-looking, targeted and coordinated.  

(3) Advance the administration streamling and powers delegation, fully implement the negative list system for market access. Deepen the reform of the investment and financing system to minimize the approval power of the NDRC over specific projects. Deepen price reforms, timely revise and downsize the government pricing catalog, and improve pricing mechanisms that reflect market supply and demand. Strengthen sharing of regulatory and public credit information. 

18. Division of responsibilities:  
(1) With the Ministry of Commerce: The NDRC works with the Ministry of Commerce in drafting and jointly releasing the Negative List for Foreign Investment at the national level and pilot Free Trade Zones, the Catalog for the Guidance of Industries for Foreign Investment, and the Catalogue of Competitive Industries for Foreign Investment in Central and Western Regions in China. 

(2) With the National Health Commission: The NDRC is responsible for monitoring and evaluating demographic changes and the impact of such trends, establishing a population forecasting system, evaluating the demographic impact of major national decisions, improving the consulting mechanism for population policies, studying and proposing national population strategies, and formulating population plans and policies, and formulating policies and proposals for sustainable development of population and economy, society, resources, and the environment, and promoting the long-term balanced development of population. The National Health Commission is responsible for carrying out population monitoring and early warning, formulating family planning policies, studying and proposing policies on the size, quality, structure, and distribution of population, coordinating family planning policies and economic and social policies, and formulating and implementing population plans and policies. 

(3) With the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration: The NDRC drafts overall reserve plans for grain, cotton, sugar and other strategic materials. The National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration is responsible for purchasing and storing such reserves, and executing certain procedures in accordance with the instructions of the NDRC. 

(4) With the National Energy Administration: 1) The National Energy Administration is responsible for formulating energy development strategies, plans and policies, and give reform proposals for the energy sector, which are reviewed or approved by the NDRC before submitted to the State Council. The NDRC is responsible for coordinating the synergy between energy planning and national development planning; 2) The National Energy Administration is mandated to approve and review energy investment projects. Major projects are submitted to the NDRC or the State Council for approval. The National Energy Administration proposes central fiscal spending in the energy sector, the NDRC is responsible for reviewing and approving such proposals; 3) The National Energy Administration drafts strategic oil and natural gas reserve plans, and puts forward proposals for the purchase, storage and utilization of such strategic reserves, whereas the NDRC reviews such proposals and submits them to the State Council for approval.