China cements family planning policy by offering financial support

Updated: 2006-11-06 07:38

CHANGSHA -- Central China's Hunan Province on Sunday announced a plan to provide financial aid to the spouses whose only child is dead or disabled, a move to further consolidate the family planning policy.

One people, either in rural or urban areas, can get 600 yuan (US$75) every year from the provincial government after he or she is 50 years old and, unfortunately, the only child is dead or disabled, according to the plan.

Hunan is the first province in China to carry out such a plan, said Li Wanbin, director of the provincial family planning commission at a press conference on Sunday.

China has announced to offer financial rewards to farmers who have less children, aiming to restrain the rise in the country's population. Parents of every one-child family and those with two daughters in the rural areas will receive an annual payment of 600 yuan (US$75) when they reach the age of 60.

Li Wanbin said the new plan of Hunan will enable the spouses whose child is dead or disabled to get financial support 10 years earlier than by the national plan.

When those people reach the age of 60, they will no longer be covered by the provincial plan but will benefit from by the national plan, Li added.

It is estimated that more than 6,000 people will benefit from the provincial plan by the end of this year. Hunan will spend 3.7 million yuan (US$462,500) on the plan this year.

China used to fine people who have more than the allowed number of children, however, officials said incentive financial support "has proved effective in encouraging peasants to have less children."

Traditionally, families prefer sons to daughters, especially in the countryside, where sons mean a continuation of a family tree, stronger labor on the farm and financial support in older age.

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