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Quality inspections stepped up as licensing requirements for manufacturers slashed

Wang Qinyun
Updated: Dec 24,2019 07:00 AM    China Daily

Several ministry-level departments, including those responsible for development and reform, and civil affairs, have recently responded to issues of public concern.

Measures make life easier for manufacturers

China has significantly reduced the number of industrial products that companies need a license to make, an official from the State Administration for Market Regulation said.

Only 10 categories of products now require such licenses, down from 60 in early 2017, Zhang Wenbing, director of the ministry's product safety and quality department, told a news conference on Dec 17.

The time required to get a license has also been shortened to an average of eight workdays, he said.

One measure taken by the administration to accelerate the process has been the cancellation of product tests by the licensing authorities. Instead, companies are now required to include certificates issued by qualified institutes in their license applications.

The administration has also abolished a large number of tests that companies previously had to go through, and focused on examining on companies' key equipment for making and testing their products, Zhang said.

The administration has strengthened quality inspections of products that do not require production licenses, and will continue to do so, he said.

It had conducted random tests on more than 7,000 batches of products made by about 5,000 companies this year, with about 9 percent failing to meet standards.

Economy remains on track for steady growth
China's economy will continue to grow steadily, National Development and Reform Commission spokeswoman Meng Wei said on Dec 17.

The National Bureau of Statistics said the country's manufacturing purchasing manager's index stood at 50.2 in November, up by 0.9 from October. Meng told a news conference that it was a relatively positive sign for the economy.

A PMI reading above 50 signifies an expansion in factory production from the previous month.

In the first three quarters of this year, China's GDP grew by 6.2 percent year-on-year. Though growth had slowed, Meng said China still enjoyed the fastest growth among economies with a GDP of more than $1 trillion.

The consumer price index in November was up 4.5 percent year-on-year, with Meng saying the main cause was higher pork prices.

In general, there was a solid base for prices to remain stable, she said, adding there was an abundant supply of industrial and agricultural products, and pig production was recovering.

Companies encouraged to support 'left-behind' kids
The Ministry of Civil Affairs and five other bodies have issued a guideline on ways labor-intensive companies can enhance their support for "left-behind" children and other underprivileged children in rural areas.

The guideline, issued on the State Council's website on Dec 18, aims to improve the guardianship of children in rural areas by parents working for such companies.

According to a document issued by the State Council in 2016, "left-behind" children are those under 16 whose parents are away from home and working as migrant workers, or who have one parent working away from home and a parent at home who is not a competent guardian.

The companies should hold lectures and courses for their workers and help them better understand their responsibility for their children. They should include lectures on laws related to child protection and development, and training to improve parents' ability to communicate with their children.

The companies should also keep improving employees' working and living conditions to better support them in carrying out their family duties.

The guideline encourages companies to hire social workers to offer services such as psychological counseling and empowerment to workers and their children, and to provide with affordable phone and video chat services so parents can keep in contact with their children.

It also encourages companies to gradually move their plants to Central and West China, so that parents can work in or near their hometowns.

In addition, companies should set up programs to offer regular support to "left-behind" children and other underprivileged children in rural areas and try to establish like-minded social initiatives and charities.

They should also take into account China's plan to eliminate poverty and its rural vitalization strategy, and focus on improving the lives of children in poverty-stricken areas, the guideline says.