Opinion / From the Press

Awry use of family planning rules

(China Daily) Updated: 2012-09-14 08:07

A single-child couple entitled to having a second child, were fined by the authorities in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, just because they didn't apply to the family planning office for permission before having a second child. This is harsh to say the least, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

The Ningbo couple are entitled by family planning rules to have a second child because they are the only child of each's parents. But local family planning officials have fined them 70,000 yuan ($11,060) because they didn't apply to the family planning office for permission to have a second child before actually having one.

Agreed, the couple should not have gone in for a second child before informing the family planning office. According to rules, they can have a second child but only after seeking permission from the authorities even though they are eligible to have two children. On this point, the couple were wrong for ignoring the legal procedure.

But local authorities should have treated the case differently. They should have acknowledged the couple's right to have a second child and pulled them up only for not following the norms, rather than imposing the social maintenance fee on them, which is meant for normal couples violating the Law on Population and Family Planning.



(China Daily 09/14/2012 page9)

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