In their latest session, China's top legislators are pushing for a work-safety draft law to strengthen oversight of the explosion-tainted mining business, and will also deliberate on the revision of the 7-year-old Insurance Law.
The mining industry has been tainted by a host of explosion accidents in the last two years. The draft law meant to address the problem will likely become a highlight of the 28th Session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress in Beijing.
The move comes against the backdrop of Thursday's blast that tore through a coal mine in Jixi of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, killing 115 workers and injuring 24.
While the legislative process gets under way, the Central Government has already stepped-up measures to tighten control on local mining companies.
The process to revamp the 7-year-old Insurance Law also got under way, as lawmakers worked yesterday to honour the government's commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The present Insurance Law stipulates that insurance companies should get 20 per cent of their non-life insurance business reinsured.
However, the central government has promised the WTO to reduce 5 per cent of the outward reinsurance proportion annually until it is eliminated in four years.
Considering that life insurers also need reinsurance, the proposed amendment to the law says that insurance companies should reinsure their businesses according to regulations of the nation's insurance supervisory body, apparently referring to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.
Draft legislation is usually eligible to be voted on by lawmakers after three rounds of deliberations, according to China's Law on Legislative Procedure.
The session is also expected to vote on a draft revision of the law on water resources and five draft laws on government procurement, promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, science and technology popularization and clean production.
A second round of deliberation on the draft law on rural-land contracts is also expected.
(China Daily June 25, 2002)