Departments and ministries under the State Council, China’s Cabinet, have responded to a series of public concerns in the past week, including those regarding regulation of the real estate market, unemployment insurance, food and drug safety and public toilet improvements.
Real estate regulation
At a meeting concerning regulation of the real estate market on March 29, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development announced that 30 real estate brokers and developers had been found to be in violation of the relevant laws and regulations. It followed the ministry’s campaigns last year in which a total of 96 enterprises were found to be engaging in illegal activities that disrupted the market.
At the meeting, the Beijing Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development shared its experiences of controlling housing prices and described the capital’s housing market as stable. The ministry said other authorities should learn from Beijing’s experience.
Three main types of market irregularities were identified by the ministry as areas of concern: monopolistic practices in the distribution of housing resources and the fixing of market prices; the spreading of rumors and misinformation to disrupt the market; and the provision of false trade certifications.
Officials of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security have recently responded to the tightening of unemployment insurance benefit rules.
The ministry said unemployed people should meet certain criteria to claim unemployment insurance benefit. They should have participated in the unemployment insurance program according to the rules and regulations; paid unemployment insurance premiums for at least one year; have not lost their job of their own volition; and can only claim benefits for two years at most.
Food and drug safety
Sun Xianze, deputy chief of the China Food and Drug Administration, said on March 31 that the administration will implement a nationwide complaint and reporting system during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20). He said such a move will promote issues related to food and drug safety by encouraging people to get more involved.
Hu Jinguang, a researcher at the Renmin University of China, said the length of supply chains involved in the country’s food supply means there are many potential risks, requiring all players in the process to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring food safety.
Monitoring the food supply chain requires the joint efforts of government, enterprises and society through comprehensive legal, economic and moral management methods, Sun said.
The public can complain and report irregularities to the administration via telephone, the internet, letters and face-to-face reporting. Last year, complaints and reports about food accounted for about 80 percent of all communications received by the administration.
Public toilet improvements
Li Jinzao, chief of China National Tourism Administration, said on March 31 that the administration had made public toilet improvements an essential part of its tourism promotion project over the past two years. During that period, China has built 50,916 public toilets nationwide, which account for about 90 percent of the number of toilets planned as part of a three-year public toilet building program.
The National Tourism Development Fund has provided 1.04 billion yuan ($150 million) to support the project and improve the ecology of tourism spots.