Departments and ministries under the State Council, China's Cabinet, have responded to a series of public concerns in the past week, including increasing the retirement age, food safety and security, and flight delays during the summer flood season, and management of academic misconduct.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said at a news conference on July 22 that increasing the age of retirement would have limited influence on employment and would not reduce individuals' pensions. Progressively increasing the retirement age through gradual adjustments will make a difference among various groups of people, he said.
The China Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning on food safety during the summer flood season. Since the beginning of the season, some provinces have suffered from severe flooding, which has impacted regular food production and supply to varying degrees. The administration has warned consumers to keep food clean and be aware of correct food storage procedures. If consumers find out about illegal food production and sales or suffer from food poisoning after dining out, they have been advised to report the issue to the local food and drug administrative authorities and seek treatment at a hospital, if applicable.
The State Administration of Grain has also issued an urgent announcement on grain storage during the summer flood season. The announcement calls on local authorities to make full preparations for flood prevention and food safety in grain storage areas. There should be flood prevention measures, as well as an emergency plan for floods. During the summer purchase period, local authorities should work to prevent production safety accidents, the announcement said.
According to the Ministry of Finance, 1.5 billion yuan ($224 million) has been budgeted for national mountain flood disaster prevention and control work this year. This money will be mainly used to support improving the mountain flood disaster early warning system and implementing flood prevention and management in key areas.
The Ministry of Transport has recently announced on its website a new regulation on flight delays, which will take effect from Jan, 1, 2017. The new regulation clarifies airlines' obligations in regards to passengers' accommodation and economic compensation. It also calls for airlines to keep passengers informed at thirty minute intervals about the reason for and expected duration of any delay.
The Ministry of Education has issued a regulation on preventing and dealing with academic misconduct in higher education institutions, which requires colleges and universities to establish a specific department to receive reports of academic misconduct. Higher education institutions should investigate and deal with reports of academic misconduct according to the law and regulations, in order to improve the academic environment in colleges and universities, the regulation said.