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China Daily Website

Birth permit application reform needs to go further

Updated: 2012-12-05 21:44
( chinadaily.com.cn)

Birth permits have been hard to obtain — a phenomenon unpopular with society.

But now the National Population and Family Planning Commission has told relevant departments at various levels to simplify the application process for birth permits and solve difficult problems encountered by the public, says an article in China Business News. Excerpts:

Migrant populations can now apply for birth permits away from their hometowns in places where they live and work, without local household registrations.

The commission's decision is good news for many young couples who would otherwise have to return to their hometowns to obtain the permits.

That people need such permits before giving birth is a by-product of family planning polices drawn up decades ago under special circumstances.

As the nation debates the need for family planning policy reform, it is necessary to first lift control of birth permits.

These permits should not present people with obstacles. However, in practice, many grassroots departments in charge of those issuing the permits have become a nightmare for couples, because of a complicated process and complex conditions that must be met.

Under the new leadership of the Communist Party of China, the government is gradually transforming its functions from administration authorities to public service providers.

The outdated and complicated application process for birth permits should definitely be reformed. China has about 230 million migrant people, accounting for 17 percent of the national total. A considerable proportion of these will benefit from birth permit application reform.

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