CHONGQING - The southwest Chinese municipality of Chongqing Wednesday launched the "hukou", or household registration reform, with the goal of turning 10 million farmers into urbanities by 2020.
In a press release issued Wednesday, the municipal government said it aimed to turn 3.38 million farmers, mainly the new-generation migrant workers born in the 1980s and 1990s, into urban citizens within two years.
Under the new regulations, farmers who do business in the downtown areas of Chongqing for five years or in the remote county seats for three years can apply to become urban citizens, it said.
The government offered preferential policies for those who applied for non-agricultural status. Also, they will be allowed to retain use right of the land their house is on or contracted land for three years after they become urbanities.
Chongqing has a population of 32.8 million, including 23.3 million farmers. Among them, 8.4 million farmers have become migrant workers, including 3.9 million working and living in urban areas of Chongqing.
China's "hukou" system was set up in 1958 to control the movement of people between urban and rural areas.
People working in the cities but still holding their official rural status do not enjoy the health care, education and social insurance offered to urban populations.