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China moves to raise employment in rural areas
Updated: 2004-04-26 11:22

China is restructuringagriculture and rural economy to expand employment and removingthe institutional and policy obstacles steadily to help a rationaland orderly flow of rural workforce into cities, said a whitepaper issued by the Information Office of the State Council Monday.

The white paper, China's Employment Situation and Policies, issued in Beijing Monday, said the Chinese Government has activelyrestructured the agriculture and rural economy, pushing hard theagro-industries other than traditional crop cultivation.The country is working to promote the industrialized managementof agriculture and develop farm produce processing, sales, storage,transportation and preservation.

Preferential policies of finance, taxation and loaning havebeen adopted to support a group of key and leading agricultureenterprises, the white paper said.

The Chinese Government has reckoned township enterprises as animportant way to employ the surplus rural labor force.In 2003, China's township enterprises produced 3.67 trillionyuan of added value, contributing to 31.4 percent of the country'sGDP and they have provided jobs to 136 million people, or 27.8percent of the total laborers in rural areas.

Last year, more than 98 million rural residents sought jobs outof their hometowns, over six times that of 15 million in 1990.Since the 1990s, the number of farmers working out of theirnative homes increased by some 5 million annually in average, thewhite paper said.

The Chinese Government has adopted the policy of "treatingfairly, guiding rationally, and improving administration andservice" for rural migrant workers.

The government is working to bring into full play its functionsto provide information and administrative service for migrantworkers, such as building public employment service organizationsand the labor recruitment information network, making recruitmentinformation surveys and timely analysis and announcement of therecruitment needs of enterprises.

The government has put forward the National Plan for TrainingRural Migrant Workers, 2003-2010 to improve vocational trainingfor rural workforce, which is to train the 60 million prospectiverural migrant laborers in seven years.

The Chinese Government has gradually improved theadministration on labor contracts for rural migrant workers incities to protect their legal rights and interests, the whitepaper said.

The government has tightened supervision over the employers andjob agencies about payment and labor conditions. Illegal jobagencies and those providing false employment information forrural migrant workers are severely punished.

Efforts have been made to cover rural migrant workers withsocial insurance, the white paper said.

In major provinces and cities where rural migrant workers rushto, such as Guangdong, Fujian and Beijing, social insurance hasincluded rural migrant workers and relevant policies andregulations have been issued about work-related injury, medicareand pension insurance for them.

Since 1991, the Chinese Government has made pilot projects insome areas to explore different approaches, policies and measuresfor the development and employment of the rural labor force indifferent natural and socio-economic conditions.

Such projects, focusing on unified planning for employment inboth urban and rural areas, rural migrant workers' returning hometo start their own businesses, training of the rural migrantworkforce and employment in west China, are being carried out in98 counties and cities in 26 provinces and municipalities.

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