China / China

Public concerns on overcapacity, labor and drug prices addressed

By Cui Shoufeng (China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-07 08:18

Departments and ministries under the State Council, China's Cabinet, have responded to a wide range of public concerns during the past week, including the increasing demand for labor, overcapacity in the coal and iron industries, violence against doctors, abnormal fluctuations in drug prices, and red tape in foreign exchanges.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said the demand for labor rose in April in nine provinces as well as two municipalities, Shanghai and Chongqing, with a notable increase in the number of newly hired employees in local companies.

The ministry has been investigating the labor market in the 11 regions on a monthly basis since 2011, with a focus on the interaction between a wide range of jobseekers and employers. The tertiary sector (services) continues to attract more job-hunters compared with the first (agriculture) and second (manufacturing) sectors, said April's report.

The State Administration of Work Safety announced that a special work safety inspection will be enforced until the end of this year to reduce excessive capacity in the coal and iron industries.

The enforcement will cover iron and steel complexes and smelters (foundries are not included), as well as all mines in operation and under construction, said the announcement.

In response to recent violent attacks on medical staff, the Ministry of Public Security noted via Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging platform, that local police had taken immediate action to hold all assailants accountable in line with relevant laws.

It said that showing respect to medical staff is about showing respect to the importance of life, and keeping hospitals functioning safely protects the wellbeing of all patients.

Police departments at all levels will conduct strict enforcement to deal with violence against medical staff, as well as safeguard the dignity of the law and people's lives and properties, the ministry pledged.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, will launch a nationwide drug pricing probe starting June 1 to address public concerns such as abnormal price fluctuations, said a notice it recently released on its website.

The investigations, which are expected to continue until the end of October, will be conducted on drug manufacturers, medical institutions, disease prevention and control centers and related institutions in the industry, said the top pricing regulator.

To meet the increasing demand for currency exchanges, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange decided to streamline the management of foreign exchange institutions and self-serve exchange machines, by cancelling outdated pre-conditions for market access. Currency exchange services could only be offered in the past when the providers were granted a needed approval beforehand.

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