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Fund to improve workplace safety
( 2003-08-28 07:01) (China Daily)

The central government is to invest 2.2 billion yuan (US$265 million) next year to help improve workplace safety in coal mines across the country, the State Council decided yesterday.

Rescue worker Wang Jinjun and others walk toward the Xing'ergou coal mine in Datong, North China's Shanxi Province August 11, 2003, to try to find five miners still missing during a fatal a gas explosion on Monday that has already killed 37 miners. [newsphoto.com.cn]

The council, China's cabinet, also decided to establish a special committee to oversee workplace safety.

The State Council made the decisions at a special meeting in Beijing to discuss coal mine workplace safety. Premier Wen Jiabao chaired the meeting.

The council heard a report from Liu Zhenhua, the governor of North China's Shanxi Province.

The province saw three coal mine gas explosions between August 11 and 18, which claimed a total of 92 lives.

At the meeting, the State Council asked the Shanxi provincial government, as well as all levels of local governments and the relevant government departments and enterprises, to draw lessons from the fatal accidents and take effective measures to improve workplace safety.

The council said technological renovation in the mining sector should be speeded up, with the focus on treating coal mine gas.

In the past two years, 4 billion yuan (US$481 million) out of State bonds have been spent in renovating coal mining technology.

Special workplace safety inspections will be further strengthened to eliminate the root causes of potential workplace accidents and effectively prevent the occurrence of major accidents.

Also at yesterday's meeting, the State Council approved guidelines to be followed in the construction of sports facilities for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The National Development and Reform Commission had drafted the guidelines.

The meeting stressed that the construction of Olympic sports facilities is an urgent task and that preparations must be stepped up.

Policy makers and programme managers were asked to take into account the potential economic, social and environmental effects, make full use of the available resources and prevent the duplication of projects.

The projects must meet the needs of the Olympic Games but it should also be possible for them to be widely used by the public after the Games.

The council said supervision should be tightened over the construction projects to ensure the facilities will be completed on time and up to international standards.

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