The Chinese legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC)
Standing Committee, has saved people's lives through its law
enforcement inspections that led to closures of many deadly mines
and polluting plants.
"The law-enforcement supervision work by the NPC Standing
Committee is aimed at defending people's fundamental interests,"
Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, in his work
report to a plenary meeting of the Fourth Session of the 10th NPC
The NPC Standing Committee inspected the implementation of six
laws, including law on work safety and law on water pollution
prevention and control in 2005, the top lawmaker said.
"Work safety incidents, which always involve losses of human
lives, attracted wide public attention. Therefore, in 2005, the NPC
Standing Committee examined the work safety law implementation from
various aspects," Wu said.
The NPC Standing Committee found a series of protruding problems
in coal mine production safety area by hosting more than 60 forums
and organizing lawmakers to conduct field study in more than 70
enterprises and over 30 coal mines, he said.
To better resolve the problems, the legislature raised a series
of suggestions to the government "to reduce the number of severe
gas explosion cases in two years, improve work environment of small
coal mines in three years, and expand the industrial injury
insurance system in all the country's the high-risk industries by
the end of 2006," he said.
As a result, the government closed down 5,243 illegal coal mines
and coal mines without enough work safety facilities last year. And
government officials have withdrawn 562 million yuan worth of
stakes from those illegal coal mines following the order from the
Resources saving and environmental protection are China's basic
national policy and concerned with the overall situation of
economic and social development, Wu said.
"Last year, the NPC Standing Committee set the issues relating
to resources and environment on top agenda on its supervision work.
The legislature assigned a group to examine the law enforcement on
water pollution prevention and control, and heard and discussed the
report on current energy security situation made by the State
Council," said Wu.
The legislature found that the strain in water supply and demand
and the severe water environmental deterioration should be blamed
for the unreasonable economic structure and the extensive economic
growth mode. It urged governments at all levels to solve the
problems by fully implementing the conception of scientific
development, he said.
After considering legislature's suggestions, the State Council
has mapped out measures to transfer economic growth mode, improve
innovation capacity, speed up economic structure adjustment and
vigorously develop circular economy, so as to relieve the pressure
from resources strain and environmental deterioration.
Facing the issues of resources strain and environmental
deterioration in the past few years, the Fifth Session of the 16th
CPC Central Committee put forward the goals of reducing energy cost
for per unit GDP by 20 percent in the coming five years and curbing
the environmental deterioration trend by and large.
Letters of complaint
Wu said last year, the top legislature heard and discussed ten
reports made by the relevant departments of the State Council, the
Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate for
the promotion of the rule of law, Wu said.
In addition, the legislature also inspect the implementation of
agriculture law, statistics law, labor law and lawyer law in 2005,
"The NPC Standing Committee also paid great attention to letters
and visits and put the complaints widely aired by ordinary people
as its supervision priorities," said Wu.
In 2005 alone, the legislature received more than 130,000
letters and 58,000 visits. Urban housing demolition and migrant
worker's wage in arrears were the issue frequently mentioned in the
letters and visits.
Therefore, the NPC Standing Committee, together with the
relevant departments of the State Council, promoted the settlement
of the issues. By January 2006, local governments and enterprises
all over the country returned a total of 167.3 billion yuan of wage
in arrears, accounting for 90 percent of the total defaulted wages
before 2003, Wu said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2006)