Authorities at various levels should do their utmost to help migrant workers start a new business in their hometown, Premier Li Keqiang said during a State Council executive meeting on June 10.
Premier Li recalled that during his trip in February to Southwest China’s Guizhou province he met a group of migrant workers who had returned from eastern China to spend the Spring Festival with family members.
He said that one of the migrants cried when he asked about his life, saying that he was always sad because it was difficult to get along with local people. “They told me their biggest wish was to work or to start their own business in their hometown,” the Premier said.
Officials attending the executive meeting discussed new policies supporting migrant workers to start a business, and one official said that such policies will “link innovation and entrepreneurship with farmers”, thus becoming “a good example of mass entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Data shows that China had a total of 274 million migrant workers in 2014.
Encouraging migrants to start their own business is expected to address the issue of employment and help them increase their income. And it is also set to help promote industrial transfer in eastern and western China and the urbanization of the Midwest region.
The Premier asked relevant ministries to give more power to local governments and produce more incentive policies.
Migrant workers have been an important force supporting the development of the Chinese economy over the past 30 years, the Premier said.
He also said that society and governments at all levels should pay attention to protecting the rights of this group, and also to the issues of left-behind children and elderly relatives in the Midwest rural areas.
Premier Li added that many migrant workers have to work far from home which means that they cannot look after their parents and children.
He called on officials at all levels to show respect for this group and help them start a business in their hometown.