Two Sessions delegates comment on 2014 government work report

People’s livelihood is once again a key focus of Premier Li Keqiang’s government work report for 2014. It is being debated if the general direction of deepening reform would considerably improve Chinese people’s livelihood.

The government work report has identified 10 key areas for special attention.

1. Education: More fairness, allowing more students from villages to enter renowned universities

Zhou Hongyu, NPC deputy: Fair access to educational resources serves as the basis of social equality. Educational resources should favor the kids in poverty-stricken areas which could facilitate vertical social mobility and bring more hope for village kids. 

2. Changes to one-child policy: Implementation of the policy that allows couples to have two children if one of the parents is an only child in many provinces
Zhang Tianren, NPC deputy: It’s the right timing for the new policy. With its implementation in many provinces, the social burden brought by an aging population could be relieved.

3. Providing for the elderly: Mapping out a unified system for urban and rural residents and promoting enterprise annuity

Professor Ding Yuanzhu of China National School of Administration: China currently possesses four sets of systems and they apply to different citizens of different statuses. Mapping out a unified system would be the first step.

4. Medical care: Raising per capita allowance to 320 yuan

Zong Qinghou, NPC deputy: The new medical care reform brings common people many benefits, although it still falls short of demand. More concrete reforms should be made in the fields like institutional reform of medicines and serious illness.

5. Housing: Building of 4,800,000 sets of social security housing and increasing medium and small-sized housing 

Dai Tianrong, NPC deputy: More social welfare housing would relieve desperate demand for housing, and more medium and small-sized housing would better meet the market demand.

6. Food safety: Complete and strict supervision mechanism
Fu Qiping, NPC deputy: In recent years, the country has begun to realize the severity of food safety problem, and to guarantee food safety, rule of law and mechanism must be set up.

7. Fight against smog: Stronger and effective actions needed

Gu Shengzhu, NPC deputy: Addressing the problem would require systematic effort and it is most expected by Chinese people now.
8. Social relief and aid: Raising the standard of minimum living guarantee and linking it with the price of commodities

Zhang Lianqi, CPPCC member: This shows the government’s main idea on livelihood is to help those in need but not strengthen those that are already prospering. 

9. Employment and income distribution: Income gap needs to be narrowed and environment for getting jobs and starting businesses should be improved

Chen Naike, NPC deputy: It’s the government’s responsibility to improve the environment for employment creation. The reform of income distribution should first guarantee livelihood of the low-income people. 

10. Hukou reform: Settlement policy should be differentiated although residence permit system must be set up

Cai Jiming, NPC deputy: To gradually increase urbanization and help migrant workers to settle in the cities, Hukou policy must be reformed to clear the hindrance for population migration. Meanwhile, "metropolis sickness" must be avoided, so the settlement policy for metropolis like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou should be formulated in accordance with their own specific conditions.

The article is edited and translated from a news by

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