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Seven major changes related to people's livelihood in 2007
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10:29, December 31, 2007

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The year 2007 features some big changes, even the radical ones, seen in the common people's lives and befalling their families. These changes not only bring new hopes to ordinary people but also mirror the magnificent achievements scored in China's economic development.

Change 1 Poor students can afford college education

Starting since the autumn of 2007, the normal universities directly under the Ministry of Education have carried out a free-of-charge recruitment program covering 12,000 students from the poverty-stricken regions, with the training orientation to improve the quality of the teaching staff for elementary and middle schools in the rural areas. In addition, the State has resolved the policies to offer aids to the students from poor families, with the expenditures totaling 15.4 billion yuan RMB.

Change 2 New job offers available

In the entire year of 2007, more than 10 million urban laid-offs returned to employment; the registered unemployment rate correspondingly dropped. As of the end of September, amongst the 810,000 families with no income out of the nationwide 847.000 families of that description, at least one member of each family had found employment.

Change 3 Minimal welfare standards shelter those hard up for money

China initiated the countryside minimal welfare standards system in 2007, the number of recipients has thus far come to 25 million-plus, and it was expected to reach 30 million by the end of the year. The urban dwellers incorporated in the minimal welfare standards system remained around 22 million. The minimal welfare standards have basically guaranteed the living conditions for those in need.

Change 4 Housing to rent at low-price makes housing affordable

This year, the State allocated 7.94 billion yuan RMB to fund the program of housing to rent at low- price, far exceeding ever before in funding. By the end of this June, 586 cities, out of the total 656 throughout the country, had introduced the system of housing to rent at low-price.

Change 5 Peasant farmers can afford to seek medical help

The State vowed to establish the new-type systems of cooperative medical service and medical assistance covering the vast rural areas as of 2008. Statistics gathered on September 30 showed that 2,448 townships and counties had set up the system of cooperative medical service, accounting for 85.53 percent of the country's total, covering 726 million rural residents. The first three quarters of the year saw more than 263 million person-time aided by the cooperative medical funds.

Change 6 Pensions raised for retirees

The per-capital monthly pension for SOE retirees has been raised for several consecutive times to averagely over 900 yuan RMB in 2007, from the humble benchmark in 1990, less than 500 yuan.

Change 7 Clean atmosphere no longer a dream

Energy conservation and emission reduction appeared more critical to the year 2007. The central treasury authorized 23.5 billion yuan RMB for a clean environment in the outgoing 2007, achieving good results. The energy consumption of the unit GDP was anticipated to drop by 3 percent; and the emission amount of both Sulfur Dioxide and the chemical oxygen demand declined evidently, which is the first-ever occurrence in the country.

By People's Daily Online

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