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Home >> China
UPDATED: 12:14, March 16, 2007
China to legislate on minimum subsistence allowance: Premier
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China is going to legislate on minimum subsistence allowance to improve the living conditions of the needy, Premier Wen Jiabao told a press conference on Friday following the conclusion of the annual session of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.

He said that China is considering to establish a plan on urban and rural medicare reform which will also eventually be complete with system guarantees.

China has already legislated on the elimination of agricultural tax and agricultural specialty property tax as well as the free nine-year compulsory education.

"Once system guarantee is in place, things will not change easily. Neither will they change with government and leadership," he said.

Wen said that the ultimate goal of China's reform and construction was to satisfy the people's increasing material and cultural demand. To reach the goal, China must address the issue of the people's well-being, which includes clothing, food, housing and transporting.

"The most imminent one is to secure the equal opportunity of the general public to education," he said.

Wen said that the government would look to the disadvantaged group, especially farmers, to solve the problems concerning people's livelihood.

"The speed of a fleet is not determined by the ship which travels the fastest, but the one that travels the slowest. If we improve the living conditions of those in difficulty, we improve the well-being of the whole society," he said.

To ensure all the people can live a happy life, "the key is to secure their democratic rights and to promote equality and justice," the Premier said.

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