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Premier Wen Wants Rural Workers Paid on Time

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Friday that measures must be taken this year to ensure that rural workers in cities are paid on time and in full and close attention paid to solving the problem of their wages being docked or not paid on time.


The State Council has decided to basically solve the problems of default on construction costs and wage arrears for migrant rural workers in the construction industry within three years, the premier said in a report on the government work at the opening of the Second Session of the Tenth National People's Congress.


Clearing up such back payments should begin with government- invested projects, but different types of enterprises should also be urged to pay off their arrears as soon as possible, said the premier, adding, "Enterprises and managers that refuse to pay back wages to migrant rural workers must be held accountable in accordance with the law."


It is necessary to develop a mechanism to ensure the timely payment of migrant rural workers' wages, thereby eliminating the root cause of wage arrears. All enterprises must pay wages on time and strictly obey the minimum wage regulations.


"We must ensure that all state organs and institutions pay salaries and retirees' pensions on time and in full," he said.


New arrears will not be allowed anywhere, he said, adding that accounts for paying salaries must be placed under stringent oversight, and budgetary funds should be used to pay wages and salaries first.


(China Daily March 5, 2004)


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