China's legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National
People's Congress (NPC), has put on its agenda an amendment of the
Criminal Code to toughen up penalties for those responsible for
production accidents, the 21st Century Business Herald
"The NPC Standing Committee agrees that the seven-year maximum
jail term is too light and has placed the amendment on its agenda
for this year," said Peng Yujing, an official in charge of policy
making at the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).
Zhang Qiong, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Office
of the State Council confirmed the development. "The NPC Standing
Committee is studying the possibility of increasing the jail term
for breaching work safety laws to impose tougher penalties on those
lawbreakers," he said.
China currently has over 20 laws and administrative decrees
concerning work safety but some of them are believed to be too
outdated and no longer relevant.
China has in recent years witnessed a sharp rise of work related
accidents particularly in mining and construction.
Li Yizhong, head of the SAWS, called for the amending of work
safety laws last week and suggested the current legislation was too
soft to deter the lawbreakers.
According to latest SAWS figures China recorded 52 major
accidents between January 1 and June 25 which resulted in the
deaths of 827 people. The death toll is 482 less than for the same
period of last year.
(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2006)