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Vice-Premier Stresses Social Security Work
Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo sent an instruction to the National Labor and Social Security Work Meeting held Wednesday in Shanghai, to point out the priorities of next year's work.

Wu said in the instruction that there should be no new delays in the issuance of social security funds next year, and the social security reform at present being piloted only in northeast China's Liaoning Province should continue at the present level.

The vice-premier asked social security officials to help open more channels to guide re-employment and see to the release of basic living allowances allocated to laid-off and low-income urban residents.

China collected 19 billion yuan for the fund for basic living allowance in the first ten months of this year, while the central government's appropriation for the purpose reached 30 billion yuan. The total old-age insurance premium during the period was 160 billion yuan, according to figures with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

In the same period, six million people became employed, 1.5 million of whom were reemployed. China's unemployment rate this year is expected to be under 4 percent.

Some 31 million retired Chinese now live on old-age pensions, which added up to 169.2 billion yuan in the first ten months of this year. Some 97 percent of the total pensions come from the social security fund.

The ministry expects that 103 million people will be covered by unemployment insurance by the end of this year, with the total premiums reaching four billion yuan. The total number of people to be benefited by unemployment insurance this year is expected to reach some 3.5 million.

Meanwhile, the medical insurance system reform had covered 91 percent of the cities in China by the end of October, or 61 million people.

(People's Daily December 13, 2001)

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