Extra children could prove costly

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-09 06:59

Wealthy couples in East China's Zhejiang Province who choose to flout family planning regulations by having two children could face fines of up to 1 million yuan ($129,000), provincial officials said on Wednesday .

Zhang Wenbiao, director of the province's family planning commission, said at a press conference in Hangzhou that the province would abide by the country's family planning policy during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).

"Influential celebrities and wealthy people should set a good example by abiding by the policy instead of violating it," said Zhang.

Zhang said people who violated the policy would have to pay a social compensation fee that amounted to two to four times the local annual per capita income.

That fee could be as much as 1 million yuan ($129,000) in affluent cities like Wenzhou and Ningbo, which have benefited from Zhejiang's status as a cradle of private business in China.

"As for those who don't care about the heavy fines, we will name them publicly," said the family planning official.

Public disclosure would curtail one's right to be nominated as a deputy to the local people's congress, political consultative conference or other posts, said Zhang.

Zhang's remarks came in response to media reports that some wealthy couples were choosing to pay the associated fines and have more than one child.

The government has used the family planning policy to manage the size of the country's population since the 1970s. There are no plans to relax the policy, said government officials last month.

Zhang also called for drastic measures to curb the number of migrant couples who choose to have a second child after settling down.

After Guangdong, Zhejiang has the second largest migrant population in the country, with about 3 million people from other regions.

Statistics show that 70 percent of the second children in the province were born to migrant parents.

China Daily

(China Daily 02/09/2007 page5)

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