Several ministry-level departments, including those for housing and urban-rural development, education, and public security, have responded recently to issues of public concern.
Construction safety drive
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has launched nationwide safety checks on construction projects and public facilities in urban areas in the wake of two accidents within a week.
The ministry said in a notice issued on May 23 that local authorities must step up safety checks to prevent hazards and accidents.
The move came after a collapse of a factory wall in Shanghai’s Changning district claimed the lives of 10 people on May 16. In another accident, four people died and 87 were injured when the roof of a bar collapsed in Baise, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on May 20.
The ministry said ongoing projects that have yet to obtain construction permits and projects that are constructed illegally will be a priority for safety checks.
The notice said no projects or equipment should be left unchecked during the safety check, and those found guilty of wrongdoing must be held accountable.
School enrollment checks
The Ministry of Education warned schools and universities nationwide against enrolling students in violation of regulations in an emergency notice on May 24.
Local authorities must ensure that the exam-free access to nearby primary and secondary schools is universally available for school-age children, the ministry said.
The ministry said the notice was issued after several cases of student enrollment against regulations had been found recently.
It called for high schools to strictly follow the admission procedures and policies, adding that vying for ace students in violation of regulations will not be tolerated. Universities must strengthen regulation of independent enrollment of students with special talents, it added.
The ministry also required intensified efforts to prevent high school students migrating to other provincial areas to sit college entrance exams as well as using illegal means to obtain qualifications for the exam.
Easier car registration
The Ministry of Public Security has given the green light to residents in 120 cities to have vehicle registration files changed and transferred online.
The ministry said in a notice on May 24 that residents wishing to change their vehicles’ registration location can submit their applications directly to the authorities at the new city where the vehicle is intended to be registered.
Applicants would no longer have to make a trip to the cities where the vehicles were registered previously, saving the trouble for vehicle owners to go back and forth between the two places for de-registration and re-registration.
The measure, the latest efforts made by the country to further the reform to streamline administration, enhance compliance oversight and improve services, will take effect starting from June after having been piloted in 15 cities last year, the ministry said.
More elderly protection
Chinese authorities have banned elderly care institutions from selling health products and services to elderly people to protect them from false advertising.
According to a notice jointly issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and another three central government departments, elderly care institutions are also prohibited from fundraising activities targeting elderly people.
Local authorities should target the above wrongdoings in its oversight campaigns and prohibit the institutions from such behavior or providing support to other entities for such actions.
It called for elderly care institutions to organize more health knowledge activities to help seniors better identify false advertising. It also encouraged institutions and elderly people to report to authorities about false advertising of health products and illegal fundraising.
The ministry initiated a four-year campaign in 2017 to improve the service quality of elderly care institutions. There were a total of 30,000 elderly care institutions and 249 million people age 60 or older in China by the end of last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.