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Shanghai gov't denies reports to change its permanent residency permit system
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12:51, February 13, 2009

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Authorities of Shanghai's Pudong New Area District denied previous reports that it would relax the hukou (permanent residency permit) system as a pilot program for a reform of the household registration system in the city.

The district authorities said Thursday there was no basis to a report in the Guangzhou-based Time Weekly, which said people with temporary residency permits in Pudong could get a hukou in Shanghai under a new residency plan, Friday's China Daily reported.

A Pudong human resources department official was quoted as saying that the municipal government was working on a new residency plan, but it was expected only at the end of this month.

About 6 million people with temporary residency permits work in Shanghai, and the percentage of people without hukou is higher than the national average, earlier government reports said.

Last month, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said at the annual session of the municipal people's congress that the government was drafting a new residency plan that might grant more people permanent residency permits.

"The thirst for talented and highly skilled workers is the primary motivation behind the government's plan to revise the hukou system," said Lu Hanlong, dean of the Social Development Research Institute under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Lu Jun, who came from central China's Hubei province last year to work for Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, said, it is high time that the local government scrapped the system that divides the labor force.

"Without a permanent residency permit, people like me, for example, have to face a lot of inconveniences in our visa applications and children's education," Lu said.

"What's more, we feel somewhat inferior under the existing hukou system."

Source: Xinhua

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