Premier Li Keqiang talks with locals at Banzigou village in Guyuan, Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Feb 1, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]
The State Council has released a series of policies in the first half to tackle seven major issues concerning people’s well-being, from “hukou” registration, migrant workers’ salary, left-behind children to poverty-stricken children.
A hukou is a record in a government system of household registration required by law in China. However, it also features strict separation between urban and rural citizens in their economic rights and welfare entitlements. Some citizens often encounter difficulties in acquiring “hukou” due to specific policies, which in turn cause a series of problems in employment, school enrollment and health care.
According to a guideline on hukou registration reform released by State Council in January, eight categories of unregistered residents, ranging from extra births, birth out of wedlock to people who lack a hukou due to malfunction of local governments, should be registered as legal residents in China
Until this June, over 746,000 people who lack a hukou have completed their hukou registration according to a data released by the Ministry of Public Security.
Migrant workers’ salary
Migrant workers have often suffered from salary issues caused by their employers who fail or delay to pay them, which hurt their interests and damage the equality and stability of the society.
The State Council has released a guideline to resolve the issue by strengthening supervision over the enterprises to fulfill their salary payment responsibility with a real-name management system. And, meanwhile, the government will improve the payment mechanism, introducing advanced salary cash deposit and account only for salary management. The guideline also planned to solve the payment issue by 2020.
Provinces such as Sichuan, Liaoning, Gansu and Fujian have taken detailed measures to solve this issue. Some provinces have also launched tip-off telephone to help migrant works report their employers.
The left-behind children in the rural area has become a concern in China during the development of industrialization and urbanization.
A plan released by State Council on Feb 14 has suggested to strengthen the guardianship for left-behind children and protect the legal right of minors. According to the plan, parents of minor children should fulfill their parental duty. At the same time, the grass-root government, schools and Ministry of Public Security have obligations to ensure the right of left behind children are being protected.
A month after the plan was released, over 27 related departments established an inter-ministerial conference for left-behind children. And they have also taken various measures to protect the left-behind children nationwide. For example, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Security started to build a database of left-behind children this March.
China has a poverty-stricken population of over 5.8 million so efforts are now called for to extend benefits to people without ability to work, without income source or those without guardianship.
The State Council released a guideline on Feb 17 to clarify the definition of people who should be included as “impoverished” and pledge basic living allowances including food, clothes and other necessities should be provided to those qualified.
Detailed measures have been adopted nation-wide in provinces such as Gansu, Hunan, Sichuan and Shandong to further help the poor.
The food safety has been an issue closely connected to the people’s wellbeing. And the State Council has released a circular to make a series of arrangements on food safety in 2016, which included 11 specific requirements from speeding up the improvement on regulations on food safety, emphasizing production safety, strengthening monitoring over imported food product.
Detailed measures have been taken by local governments to protect food safety.
Seventeen ministries including the Ministry of Agriculture jointly held the China Food Safety Publicity Week from June 13 to 27.
Rental housing market
The rental housing market in China has enjoyed a continuous development since the reform and opening up while facing outstanding issues such as lack of regulations and disorderly market order.
A guideline released by the State Council on June 3 has pledged to provide policy supports for rental housing market through tax credits, financial support and improved ways of land supply. It also contained four measures to protect the legal right of the tenants by clarifying the obligations of renter, providing suitable rental sources, guarantying the right of tenants to enjoy basic public service and regulating real estate agencies.
Children in need
Children still face survival or security dilemmas due to poverty, lack of guardianship and disability.
A guideline released by State Council on June 16 specified rules to ensure basic living conditions for children in need. It urged increasing the reimbursement rates for basic medical insurance and critical illness insurance for children who suffer from serious disease or severe disability. It also called for implementing an education assistance policy to subsidized living expenses during compulsory education age for children from poverty-stricken families.