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Ministries report major life improvements in 2016

Updated: Dec 12,2016 3:25 PM     english.gov.cn/Xinhua

All ministries and commissions have seen great results on the implementation of policies concerning people’s lives in 2016, according to a survey recently released by Xinhua.

The survey covers 10 areas that are closely related to people’s well-being: education, healthcare, employment, residence, poverty reduction, pension service, environmental protection, food safety, tourism and internet service.

Education

The Ministry of Education released a guideline in September to combine overlapping exams and cancel some bonus-point policies. Students with financial difficulties are exempted from tuition fees.

Besides the guideline, a new outline for college entrance exams has been released, which modified the exam content to better meet colleges’ needs.

Healthcare

The basic medical insurance coverage rate has been fixed at 95 percent, with extended coverage for major diseases for urban and rural residents. And a mechanism of market-oriented drug pricing has been established.

In addition, over half of the counties carried out tests on grassroots clinics.

Employment

From February to September, total newly-added registered employment population in urban and rural areas has reached 10.67 million, which met the annual target in advance. In contrast, registered unemployment rate was only 4.04 percent, which is lower than the projected annual objective.

Residence

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development have carried out inspections to better regulate the real estate market and penalize illegal activities.

From January to October, work on renovating 5.99 million units in shanty towns has started, which is 99.7 percent of the annual objective. A total of 1.38 trillion yuan has been invested in the project.

Poverty reduction

The Ministry of Science and Technologies and six other ministries carried out a poverty reduction project through promoting science and technologies in poor areas. And 261 poverty-stricken counties have been listed as demonstration counties for rural e-commerce.

The ministries also improved the poverty monitoring system by correcting mistakes based on the old system to better tailor efforts in poverty alleviation.

Retirement

The ministries of Civil Affairs and Finance have jointly launched a reform on pension service, and NDRC invested 2.8 billion yuan to supply infrastructure construction of 545 nursing homes in rural areas and communities.

As of the end of September, the number of available spots in nursing communities reached 6.96 million, an annual growth of 4.3 percent.

Environment protection

According to data released by the Ministry of Environment Protection, from January to October, the percentage of good weather in cities at prefecture level and above reached 81.4 percent, representing an annual improvement of 3.6 percent. The concentration rate of PM2.5 also reported an annual decrease of 12.5 percent.

Food safety

A risk-rating supervision system has been established to further ensure food safety.

And a sample test plan emphasizing checks on safety index, high-risk categories and enterprises with large market share was carried out in 2016.

Tourism

372 scenic spots have been warned or revoked due to hidden safety concerns, environmental issues, poor service or deficient infrastructure.

As of Nov 15, renovation work on 39,393 tourist restrooms has been completed, 69.11 percent of the target in a three-year program launched in 2015.

Internet and telecommunication

Fiber-optic network and 4G network have accomplished basic coverage in both urban and rural areas, with the average internet speed being doubled.

As of September, charges for Wi-Fi and data usage have both been lowered from 2.3 yuan/M to 1.06 yuan and 0.08 yuan/M to 0.055 yuan, respectively.

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