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State Council releases policies to improve people’s livelihood

Updated: Aug 19,2016 1:34 PM

The State Council issued programs this week to improve people’s livelihood.

The State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Aug 16 decided to implement a mechanism to connect the consumer price index with social welfare to better safeguard the basic livelihood of the people with financial difficulties.

The meeting came up with three key figures for the mechanism. Subsidies to households with financial difficulties will be allocated when monthly CPI grows 3.5 percent year on year, or food prices rise six percent. Local authorities should make sure that people receive financial aid within 20 days after the related data is released.

The State Council executive meeting on Aug 16 also decided to exempt high school students from registered poor families from tuition and miscellaneous fees, in a bid to further promote poverty alleviation. Related departments should make sure the policy bonus will benefit students from the neediest and most impoverished families.

The State Council has released an outline on improving the lives of disabled people and building a society suitable for the group in the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020). The plan, approved by Premier Li Keqiang, puts forward six main tasks: identifying impoverished disabled people in rural areas as a key target in poverty-relief efforts and providing them with target support policies; improving support policies to help disabled people find jobs and create startups; providing basic public services in disability prevention, rehabilitation and education; revising laws and regulations concerning the employment, education, social benefits and other aspects of disabled people’s lives; calling for public participation in caring and helping disabled people; urging local governments to improve basic services for the group.

On Aug 16, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and six other related government departments released guidelines to strengthen regulation on real estate agencies to promote the healthy development of the sector. The guidelines require that real estate agencies should verify the authenticity of published housing information, and should not provide bundled financial services. The guidelines also promise to improve credit information system in the sector and establish a regulatory system for transaction funds by the end of this year.

On Aug 15, the Ministry of Education opened a hotline for students to learn about the financial aid programs targeted at college freshmen with financial difficulties. The hotline would be operated from 8 a.m. to 20 p.m. everyday till Sept 15. After the hotline is closed, students can inquire about related policies and report their difficulties to the financial aid departments of universities, or by dialing the unified supervision and reporting hotline operated by the ministry.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission released a circular to establish a liaison system for households living with special difficulties because of previous family planning policies. According to the circular, two officials from the local village or urban district will be assigned as liaisons for these households whose only child died or became disabled. The liaison officials should offer timely aid when emergencies happen to these households, and provide them with spiritual consolation and care at important traditional festivals. Townships or subdistrict governments should keep records about every such household within their jurisdiction, the circular said.

The overall scale and unit size of public hospitals should be strictly controlled, and private authority should be guided properly to build medical institutions, stressed a guidance principle published by the National Health and Family Planning Commission. According to the document, by 2020, the number of hospitals in China should reach 48,000; of which, 33,000 should be public hospitals, and 15,000 should be private hospitals; the number of hospital beds available per 1,000 permanent residents should reach six. Hospitals at the county level should have 500 beds, city level 800, and provincial level 1,000 beds.