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8 issues concerning people’s lives this week

Updated: Apr 28,2017 5:02 PM

Cut more business permits

On April 26, the State Council executive meeting presided by Premier Li Keqiang decided to cut more business permits with no legal basis.

In doing so, he urged efforts to integrate several permits into one, and streamline business registration, in order to reduce costs for companies and vitalize the market.

Authorities were asked to share more information so that companies will not have to submit same paperwork to different bureaus.

Special project to control smog

Also at the State Council executive meeting on April 26, a decision was made to launch a special project to research the cause of and solution to air pollution.

The research team will be led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and joined by multiple authorities, including the bureaus of agriculture, technology, meteorology and information, and academic institutions and universities.

The research is expected to draw a clear timetable and road map to improve the air quality in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which can provide lessons for other regions in the nation.

A special fund will be set up by the central government for the project. The budget is unlimited for battling smog, the Premier said.

Agriculture insurance for disasters

A new agriculture insurance for crop yield losses resulting from natural disasters will be launched in about 200 counties in 2017 and 2018.

The counties will be chosen from China’s 13 major provinces that produce grains, including Hebei, Heilongjiang, Anhui and Henan. The potential compensation would cover the costs of agricultural materials, fertilizers and land rent.

The executive meeting also decided to increase the subsidized ratio of insurance premiums to 47.5 percent for pilot farms located in China’s central and western regions, and 45 percent in eastern regions.

Crackdown on illegal cooking oil

The State Council issued a guideline to set up a long-term mechanism to crack down on illegal cooking oil, as an integral measure for food safety.

It urged fostering enterprises for the harmless disposal of waste according to the size of cities where they are located. Preferential tax policies will be issued.

Regulation of waste disposal will be upgraded, as well as its technology. And authorities will crack down on illegal online sales of fake edible oil.

Expand family doctor service

Family doctor service will be expanded to more than 85 percent regions in China, according to Minister Li Bin of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

So far, 26 provincial governments have issued guidelines or plans to develop family doctor services. In 200 cities that are running public hospital reform, 22.2 percent had begun providing family doctor services by the end of 2016.

Timetable for nationwide public hospital reform

A timetable has been set up for nationwide public hospital reform, according to a document issued by the National Health and Family Planning Commission and six other departments. Drug price markups will be eliminated, and fees for some healthcare services will be adjusted.

By July 31, every city in the country must issue its plan for public hospital reform, and the reform must be launched by Sept 30.

Interest rates of pension insurance unified

Interest rates of pension insurance for employees from enterprises, government and public institutions will be unified, according to a document jointly issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and Ministry of Finance.

The rate will be determined by the government every year, based on employees’ wages and insurance fund performance. It will not be lower than the fixed-term deposit rate.

Schedule of college entrance exam in 2017

The schedule for the college entrance examination (gaokao) in 2017 has been released by the Ministry of Education.

June 7 will see two exams, Chinese (9 am to 11:30 am) and Mathematics (3 pm to 5 pm).

Exams for liberal arts and science will be held concurrently on June 8, from 9 am to 11:30 am. The foreign language exam will be held the same day from 3 pm to 5 pm.