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Broadband and new-energy buses among key topics

Xu Wei
Updated: May 14,2019 7:19 AM     China Daily

Several ministry-level departments, including those for industry and information technology, healthcare security, and finance, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

Rates for mobile internet services to be reduced

The average rates for mobile internet services will be cut by at least 20 percent this year, authorities announced on May 8.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said in a statement that average broadband service rates for small and medium enterprises will be lowered by another 15 percent.

The authorities have also set a target of improving the coverage of broadband services with a rate of at least 100 megabits per second to more than 80 percent of users.

The authorities will also work to enable more than 97 percent of primary and middle schools nationwide to be connected with broadband services this year.

Meanwhile, telecommunication service providers will also offer favorable service rates to registered households living below the poverty line, the statement said.

Insurance reimbursement for serious diseases rises

The authorities will raise the reimbursement rate of the insurance scheme for serious diseases to 60 percent, up by 10 percentage points from last year, an official notice said on May 10.

The notice, jointly released by the National Healthcare Security Administration and the Ministry of Finance, said that government subsidies for basic medical insurance for rural and nonworking urban residents will be raised by 30 yuan ($4.40) to reach no less than 520 yuan per capita annually. In the meanwhile, premiums paid by the insured will also be increased by 30 yuan.

The notice said half of the increased subsidies will be used for the insurance against serious disease. It also called for increases in the reimbursement rate for inpatient expenses and to include outpatient medicine for high blood pressure and diabetes into the medical insurance reimbursement list.

China’s serious disease insurance program covered about 1.05 billion people by the end of last year.

New-energy buses get in fast lane for promotion

China will speed up measures to promote the use of new-energy buses, according to a joint notice issued by four central government departments.

The notice, issued by ministries including the Ministry of Finance, said the country will prioritize support to products with high qualities and technical standards as it promotes the use of new-energy vehicles in the public transport sector.

It called for relevant government departments to step up quality supervision over producers so that the technical indexes of new-energy buses can meet relevant standards.

Local authorities can continue to provide subsidies to the purchasing of new-energy buses to boost consumption, the notice said.

The development of charging facilities for new-energy buses will also be accelerated, with private capital set to be encouraged into the sector, the notice said, adding that the subsidies to operations of new-energy buses will be replaced by bonuses starting from next year.

Public transportation in pole position for changes

The Ministry of Justice unveiled a draft regulation on May 10 to improve the country’s urban public transportation operation mechanisms and better ensure safety.

The draft regulation, which is released by the ministry to solicit public opinions, made it clear that urban public transportation management departments should carry out surveys to learn about public demand and optimize public transit routes.

The price of public transit tickets should be set by the government, and urban public transportation enterprises must assume the main responsibility of ensuring safety, under the regulation.

Public transportation management departments and enterprises must take necessary measures to ensure safety of operations in case of natural disasters, emergencies and mass transit facility malfunctions, the regulation said.

The draft, which is open for public opinion until June 10, also encouraged authorities to promote the use of new technology, energy and equipment to develop smart public transportation.