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Nantong improves quality of life

By Ding Congrong, Zhu Wenjun, Ren Yibin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-18 09:09

Figures show income, services, welfare all up, Ding Congrong, Zhu Wenjun and Ren Yibin report.

Nantong in East China's Jiangsu province has made great efforts to improve the livelihood of its residents and build a sustainable social security system during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), according to the city's official newspaper.

Over the past five years, the city has launched a range of projects related to residents’ livelihoods and invested more than 58 percent of the city’s public expenditure in such projects, Nantong Daily reported.

The city also designed eight measures to increase people’s income, expand employment and encourage the public to start their own businesses.

Improved lives

In 2014, the per capita disposable income of the city’s urban residents reached 33,374 yuan ($5,160) and the figure for rural residents stood at 15,821 yuan.

The per capita disposable income of the city’s urban and rural residents is expected to reach 36,400 yuan and 17,400 yuan this year, an increase of 70 percent and 80 percent from five years ago.

Per capita savings deposits are expected to surpass 70,000 yuan, which would rank Nantong second among all cities in the province.

To address the housing problem for medium- and low-income families, Nantong built 580,000 square meters of low-rent housing and 885,000 square meters of affordable housing during the 12th Five-Year Plan.

The city has also moved 67,800 households who used to live in shantytowns to new homes and completed resettlement homes with a total area of 14.21 million square meters.

Enhanced security

Nantong has also improved its social security system and built a public employment and cultural service network that covers both urban and rural areas.

More than 95 percent of the city’s residents are covered by the five basic social insurance sectors — old-age, unemployment, medical, work injuries and maternity.

With its improving medical service system, the city was named a national pilot for the reform of public hospitals by the National Health and Family Planning Commission in May.

Nantong has 20 medical service centers in the city’s communities, including a national demonstration center and 16 provincial model centers.

All of the city’s 1,540 villages have built medical offices that are at least 120 square meters. Health centers in the city’s 64 townships have invested more than 38.7 million yuan to purchase medical equipment during the past three years.

The city has also made great progress in improving its aged-care.

The number of beds in the city’s 230 public and private nursing homes exceeds 60,000. That is more than 30 beds for every 1,000 people aged 60 or above, according to official statistics.

About 90 percent of senior residents are taken care of by their family members at home, 7 percent receive community elderly-care services and the remaining 3 percent live in nursing homes, statistics show.

In addition, the monthly subsistence allowance for the city’s urban and rural residents increased from 447 yuan and 348 yuan in 2012 to 595 yuan and 497.5 yuan this year.

Safer food and water

Nantong has paid great attention to the safety of vegetables, meat and aquatic products.

In 2014, the area of vegetable plantations in the city reached 200,000 hectares, the output of which was more than 6 million metric tons.

The city has also improved its emergency vegetable supply system and launched a monthly monitoring system that issues an early warning of emerging problems, including vegetable output, sales date and price fluctuations.

In March 2012, the Nantong Logistics Center for Agricultural Products, a mega wholesale market for agricultural products in the Yangtze River Delta region, started operation.

With an investment of 4.7 billion yuan, the project has significantly benefited the lives of local residents.

Nantong has also strengthened supervision of meat quality by conducting inspections of additives and stepping up quarantine procedures for sick pigs.

Starting this year, the city also plans to build at least one slaughter center equipped with a cold chain delivery system for each of its counties and county-level cities in the next three to five years to ensure the supply of safe meat.

Moreover, Nantong has built 246 pollution-free aquaculture bases, the area of which accounts for 92 percent of the city’s total aquaculture area. The city sampled 380 aquatic products on the market this year, all of which passed quality tests.

The city has also invested more than 10.6 billion yuan in a water supply project that diverts water from the Yangtze River. More than 95 percent of the city’s residents benefited from the project when it was completed in 2012.

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