Ministries and commissions of the State Council have responded to a wide range of concerns from the public and the media about recent policies, including farmers’ income, rural health insurance, food safety and safe production.
Raising farmers’ incomes
In an interview, a leading official from the National Development and Reform Commission summarized a recently issued document on helping farmers raise their incomes.
The average farmer’s per capita disposable income saw 9.6 percent annual growth during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15), which is a major achievement, the spokesman said, adding that the gap between urban and rural income is still huge, because the farmer’s disposable income is 2.73 times that of the latter. New challenges, such as the falling prices of agricultural products and growing instability in the labor market, have emerged and caused a slowdown in farmers’ income growth. This year the rate has fallen to 6.5 percent, even lower than the country’s overall GDP growth rate.
Farmers’ income is of essential importance to the healthy development of the whole society, and only with farmers getting a fair share of social wealth, could our nation be truly called prosperous, the spokesman said. The document aims to offer more policy support to farmers so that their income grows steadily.
Rural health insurance
Responding to reports about people in certain regions cheating rural health insurance, the National Health and Family Planning Commission told reporters that it will crack down on such illegal action together with the police and finance departments. Inspection groups will be sent to all regions to check tax certificates of medical bills to curb cheating. Before the inspection groups arrive, health departments of various levels should audit their own accounts first.
The China Food and Drug Administration told the media the result of recent random inspections of agricultural products that include dairy products, soft drinks, and wine. Of the 640 samples checked, eight failed to meet relevant requirements.
The State Administration of Work Safety and the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety said they sent four secret inspection groups to major coal-producing provinces recently to inspect safety measures. In Buyi Miao autonomous region, Southwest China’s Guizhou province, some coal mines were found to be lax on safety measures despite the local safety bureau’s order; in Zhaotong city, Southwest China’s Yunnan province, they even discovered an illegal coal mine.
The inspection groups sent official documents to the local governments, requiring them to effectively supervise the coal mines in their regions.