Draft Law to Face Final Reading

The fundamental state family planning policy will be supported by the nation's first legislation on family planning and population, if it is adopted on Saturday.

The legislation will guarantee that individuals enjoy the right to child-bearing as well as improved reproductive health and family planning services, according to Hu Guangbao, vice-director of the Law Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislative body.

The draft law on family planning and population was submitted Monday to the 25th Session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth NPC for third reading.

Draft legislation usually becomes law after three rounds of deliberation by national legislators, according to China's Law on Legislative Procedure.

Conditions are ripe now to introduce this legislation, as the idea of family planning and the importance of reproductive health have been widely accepted by the public, said legislator Gu Jinchi during Monday's panel discussion on the draft law.

Family planning is one of the state's fundamental policies, and guides the sustainable development of the country and its population of almost 1.3 billion.

With the implementation of the policy, China has significantly slowed the country's population growth over the past 20 years.

The natural growth rate of the population has been kept to less than 10 per thousand since 1998, according to sources with the State Family Planning Commission.

The lawmakers are expected to vote on the draft law on Saturday when they close their week-long session.

The draft laws on the promotion of medium and small-sized enterprises, road traffic security and production safety were submitted to the legislators for their first reading.

The legislators are expected to work out measures to improve the working environment of the nation's more than 8 million medium and small-sized enterprises in such areas as fund raising, technical innovation, market promotion and social services, according to Zeng Xianlin, vice-director of the NPC Financial and Economic Committee.

Medium and small enterprises have played an indispensable role in invigorating the national economy and maintaining social stability by promoting market competition, increasing job opportunities and pushing forward technical innovation, Zeng said.

However, he said these enterprises have faced more difficulties than large enterprises in getting funding, raising their technological levels, attracting qualified professional personnel and accessing information.

"They will meet more intense competition now that China has entered the World Trade Organization (WTO)," Zeng said, adding that it is a common practice of market economies to pass legislation for the promotion of such enterprises.

The lawmakers will also give a first reading to the draft amendments to the nation's Law on Water Resources and the Law on Lawyers.

The law on water resources will be amended to put more emphasis on water conservation and the protection of water resources, according to Wang Shucheng, minister of water resources.

They will also have a second round of deliberation on the draft laws on government purchasing and the protection of cultural relics.

(China Daily December 25, 2001)

In This Series

Official Outlines Peaks and Problems in Family Planning Work

Education Key to Family Planning Services

Programs Focus on Reproductive Health

Nation to Legislate Population, Family Planning Policies

Family Planning Keeps Number of Residents in Shanghai Down

UNFPA Praises China's Family Planning Policy


World Population to Reach 9.3 billion by 2050

Family-planning Policy Helps Offer Better Education to Children

Tiny Ethnic Group Turns to One-Child Policy

State Issues Communique on Major Figures of Population

China’s Population Exceeds 1.29 Billion

China Holds Back Population Growth: Report

Nation's goal for rate of population growth: Zero


White Papers of the Government (on Family Planning in China)

White Papers of the Government (on China's Population and Development in the 21st Century)

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