Nav Search

New standard set for basic public services

By Zou Shuo Source: China Daily Updated: 2021-04-23


Passengers board an autonomous bus in Chongqing. [Photo by Wang Quanchao/Xinhua]

Measure will ensure equal access for all people and improve livelihoods

China has released a new standard for national basic public services to ensure equal access for all people and improve people's basic livelihood, a leading official at the country's top economic planner said on Wednesday.

The standard, issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and 20 other departments, covers 80 public services in nine categories, including education, employment, social security, housing and medical services.

Approved by the State Council, China's Cabinet, the standard specifies the object, content, standard and expenditure of public services and which government departments are responsible for supervising implementation, Zhao Chenxin, the commission's secretary-general, said.

The country aims to significantly improve the equalization of basic public services by 2025 and effectively ensure equitable access to basic public services by 2035, he said at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office.

Feng Yaping, an official at the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said the new standard includes protection mechanisms for orphans, children with HIV and children who have been abandoned by guardians.

A total of 60,000 orphans live in orphanages, with the government offering monthly aid of 1,611 yuan ($248) on average, and 134,000 orphans live by themselves and could receive an average of 1,184 yuan a month in government aid, he said, adding that 253,000 de facto abandoned children have also been included in the protection mechanism and can receive similar monthly aid.

The basic public services also include financial aid to elderly people in financial difficulty, those who cannot take care of themselves and subsidies to people over 80 years old, Feng said.

More than 30 million old people had received aid and subsidies from the government by the end of last year, he added.

Zhang Lixin, an official at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said the ministry has offered employment and entrepreneurship guidance to more than 100 million people and helped 1.67 million who had difficulties finding jobs and employment last year.

Chen Xiyuan, an official with the Ministry of Education, said China has established a comprehensive government-led student financial aid system to ensure that no student will drop out of school due to financial difficulties.

It includes exemption from tuition and textbook fees for all students in compulsory education and subsidies to impoverished students from preschool to university, he said.

The financial aid system has helped to significantly increase the enrollment rate at different levels of schooling, improved the living standards of impoverished students, helped them to climb out of poverty through education and promoted educational equality and social justice, Chen added.