'One-child' policy violators to be put on shame list

By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-02 06:57

The rich and famous who have ignored the country's family planning policy by having more than one child will have to pay a heavy price, according to a senior official with the National Population and Family Planning Commission.

In addition to hefty fines, they will have their names recorded in an official "bad credit" file and be disqualified for any awards and honours from society, said Yu Xuejun, director of the commission's Department of Policies and Laws.

Yu said the commission is drafting a regulation with "concrete measures" to punish the rich and famous for having more than one child, but he did not give details.

While the family planning policy is popularly referred to as the "one child policy", it in fact limits only 35.9 percent of the population to having one child, according to the commission.

In 19 provinces, farmers are allowed to have a second child if the first is a girl. They account for more than half of the total population.

Farmers in five provinces or autonomous regions Hainan, Yunnan, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang are allowed to have two children. They account for nearly 10 percent of the population.

The policy does not apply to people from ethnic minorities.

But many celebrities in cities, who can easily afford the fines about three times the average disposable income for urban household often have two children. "And 10 percent of them even have three," Yu told China Daily on Wednesday.

He admitted the matter had drawn great public attention.

"They will have to pay a dear price if they violate the family planning policy," Yu said.

He said violations of the policy was also widespread among migrant workers, who account for more than 10 percent of the country's population.

Yu estimated 5 to 10 percent of migrant workers leave their homes to have more children. He admitted the government has no effective way to tackle the problem.

China has maintained its family planning policy since the early 1970s. It has helped reduce the country's population by 400 million and had delayed the present 1.3 billion population mark by four years.

China will have 8 to 10 million more people each year in the coming two decades, according to the commission.

(China Daily 03/02/2007 page1)

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