China to Enhance Service for Migrant Workers

China will provide better services for migrant workers in cities to help them become urbanites, according to an executive meeting of the State Council on Wednesday.

The meeting, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, said that improving services for the vast group will help nurture a high quality work force, expand consumption and let them enjoy the fruits of growth.

It will also promote social equality and contribute to sustainable and healthy economic growth, according to a statement released after the meeting.

China had 174 million migrant workers in cities and towns away from their homes at the end of June.

The cabinet announced earlier on Wednesday plans to help over 100 million people without urban ID records to settle in towns and cities by 2020, ending dual household registration systems which divide people into urban or rural residents since the 1950s.

Migrant workers will be given help to find jobs in cities through training to increase their job opportunities, and encouraged to start their own businesses by offers of fiscal support, investment guidance, loan guarantees and interest subsidies.

Wage delays by employers are an old problem in some sectors, construction in particular. Wage cash deposits will be promoted, while local governments will be held ultimately accountable for migrant workers' interests.

More migrants will be able to settle permanently in urban areas and enjoy equal access to services such as pensions, medical care and housing, the statement said. Public schools in cities offering compulsory education will also open to the children of migrant workers; sports and entertainment facilities will be free of charge.

The government will remove the limits on hukou registration in townships and small cities, relax restrictions in medium-sized cities, and set qualifications for registration in big cities.

The cabinet also decided that statistical authorities will compile the jobless rate for cities to better reflect the employment situation. The urban registered unemployment rate currently excludes non-urban residents.

Also on Wednesday, the cabinet decided to solicit public opinion on an interim regulation on property registration before a unified property registration mechanism goes into place.

Source: Xinhua