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Upcoming social welfare promised by the government

BY :Sophia Tang

UPDATED :March 14, 2018

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered the Government Work Report 2018 at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing on March 5. He mentioned what the government plans to do to improve people's livelihoods in a wide range of fields.

Echoing what Premier Li Keqiang said in the government work report, related authorities have started planning and making changes. So, what social welfare can we expect the government to deliver? Let's have a look.
 
Consumption


1. Promote new-energy vehicles

China will extend preferential policies on the purchase tax on new-energy vehicles by another three years and rescind all local policies that restrict sales of non-local second-hand vehicles.

2. Lower ticket price at tourist sites

Ticket prices will be lowered at key state tourist sites.

3. Lower import tariffs

Officials will actively expand imports and lower import tariffs on automobiles, some everyday consumer goods, and other items.

4. Reduce fees for toll roads

China will deepen reform on the toll road system and reduce charges for toll roads and bridges. Guangdong province has already started to eliminate tolls for regular highways in the province last July.

5. Abolish domestic data roaming charges

China will cancel domestic long-distance and roaming charges for data packages, and cut the charges for mobile data per month this year, said Minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) Miao Wei, at the "Ministers' Corridor" on March 5.

Both measures will contribute to an over 30-percent decrease in the rates for mobile Internet services compared to last year. The reduction is expected to go into effect after July 1, according to Chen Zhaoxiong, vice minister of MIIT.

China will also continue to bring down Internet rates for home and corporate broadband. Other measures will also be taken to lower the fees while accelerating the speed, in addition to the cancellation of domestic data roaming charges.
 
Income

1. Raise threshold for individual income tax

China will reduce taxes on businesses and individuals by more than 800 billion yuan (about 126 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018.

The government will raise the threshold for personal income tax and create expense deduction for items like children's education and treatment for serious diseases.

2. Elderly care and minimum wage

China will continue to raise basic pension payments for retirees and basic pension benefits for rural and non-working urban residents. Minimum wages will be appropriately adjusted.

3. Improve treatment for skilled workers

China will promote the free flow of human resources, support companies to increase remuneration for skilled workers and provide more incentives for highly skilled workers.

4. Help the vulnerable

China will steadily raise urban and rural subsistence allowances, social assistance benefits, and benefits for entitled groups.

5.  Increase rural income

China will develop the Internet Plus Agriculture development model, use multiple channels to increase rural incomes, and encourage the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries to develop in rural areas in an integrated way.
 
Poverty alleviation


China will reduce the poor rural population by over 10 million in 2018, including 2.8 million people to be relocated from inhospitable areas.

"Poverty alleviation efforts will be carried on through the development of local industries, education, and healthcare," the premier said.
 
Health and environment


1. Implement the Healthy China strategy

China will expand the coverage and increase the benefits of the basic medical insurance and serious disease insurance for its people. The government subsidies for basic health insurance will be raised by 40 yuan per capita, half of which will be used for the serious disease insurance scheme.

2. Easier access to medical resources

China will deepen reform on comprehensive public hospitals and make coordinated moves to reform healthcare pricing, staffing and remuneration, medicine distribution, and health insurance payment models. The government will improve the quality of healthcare services and work hard to solve the difficulties people face in accessing medical care.

3. Cut pollutant emissions

China will cut sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 3 percent and achieve a continuous decline in PM2.5 density in key areas. The government will encourage upgrading in the steel and other industries to achieve ultra-low emissions, and continue efforts to prevent and control water and soil pollution.
 
Education


1. Education and child care

The country will promote the integrated development of urban and rural compulsory education, and continue to weight funding for education toward poor areas and weak links.

The government will also increase the supply of preschool educational and child-care resources through multiple channels and use the internet and other IT-based approaches to strengthen oversight over the whole process of childcare provision.

"The government plans to raise the social status and salaries of teachers in primary and middle schools. Their work should be respected by the whole society," said Chen Baosheng, China's educational minister.

2. Solutions to the 3:30 p.m. student problem

With primary students being dismissed from school at 3:30 p.m. and adding to the burden on working parents, a few districts in Guangzhou have offered their solutions—Yuexiu district offering free child care service, Tianhe district providing special interest classes, and Huangpu district cooperating with children's palace to offer extra-curricular courses.
 
Housing


1. More affordable housing

The government will launch a new three-year renovation plan to address housing demand in rundown urban areas, starting with the construction of 5.8 million units this year.

Officials also will step up efforts to supply public-rental housing so that all eligible low-income families struggling with housing, including eligible houseless first-time workers and migrant workers, are able to access public-rental housing under this scheme.
 
New urbanization


1. Urban residency

China plans to grant urban residency status to 13 million rural people who had moved to cities.

2. Improve dwelling conditions

The government will plan steps to rebuild villages and old residential areas in cities, improve supporting utilities, and encourage the installation of elevators in old residential buildings with suitable conditions. More also will be done to improve drainage pipeline networks and underground utility tunnels.
 
Administrative formalities

China will continue to develop and provide Internet-based government services for the public and further streamline administrative procedures, enabling citizens to handled affairs online or get things all taken care of at one window.
 
Infrastructure construction

This year will see 732 billion yuan invested in railway construction and around 1.8 trillion yuan invested in highway and waterway projects; the scale of investment in ongoing water conservancy projects will reach 1 trillion yuan.
 
Foreign investment

The country will greatly relax market access, promote investment facilitation and encourage foreign capital entry in more regions. The negative list approach to market entry, which states sectors and businesses that are off limits to foreign investment, will be expanded nationwide.

The general manufacturing sector will be completely opened up, and access to sectors like telecommunications, medical services, education, elderly care, and new-energy vehicles will be expanded.

Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the country will ensure fair competition between domestic and foreign enterprises in an all-round way. He also pledged strict protection of intellectual property rights.

More favorable policies concerning capital transfer and land use, which are enjoyed by domestic investors, will be given to foreign firms when they invest in China's middle, western and northeastern regions, Ning said.

Source: WECHAT(SilkRoadPost)

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