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Chinese lawmakers hear reports on housing, environmental protection, work of county-level courts and procuratorates

(Xinhua)

08:37, October 26, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lawmakers Tuesday heard government reports on the construction of housing units for low-income earners, environmental protection and the work of county-level courts and procuratorates.

In a report submitted to the ongoing bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin said that nearly 22 million low-income households have been sheltered with housing units thanks to government-sponsored affordable housing projects from 1998 to the end of last year.

The number of new low-income housing units to be constructed and housing units in run-down areas to be renovated during the coming five years will total 36 million, Jiang said.

However, Jiang also pointed out major problems in the construction efforts, including poor support facilities, faulty distribution and management, fund raising issues, a lack of top-level planning and lagging regulation development.

Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian in his report said China has made positive progress in environmental protection in the past five years but still faces an arduous task.

Over the next five years, Zhou said China will continue to improve pollution treatment in major water basins and seas, while constantly improving policies and rules concerning environmental protection.

Zhou promised to resolve environmental problems affecting people's health, make the system that takes pollution emission achievements into account when assessing the work of local governments more strict, and further promote the use of clean energy.

Wang Shengjun, China's chief justice and president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC), in his report to the lawmakers, said the number of cases in county-level courts increased by over six percent annually in the last three years.

As of June, more than 250,000 staff members were working in China's 3,115 county-level people's courts, Wang said.

More than 30 million cases were tried in county-level courts from 2008 to 2010, accounting for 89.28 percent of the country's aggregate cases, according to Wang's report.

Furthermore, Wang urged improving the enrollment system for judges and the national judicial examination, holding more professional training, and raising incomes in a bid to address the lack of judges in county-level people's courts.

Procurator-General Cao Jianming in his report said China's 3,205 county-level procuratorates investigated an annual average of more than 36,000 civil servants for suspected duty crimes.

Cao said grassroots-level procuratorates have been active in fighting duty crimes and those crimes that undermine public interests and safety.

China currently has a total of 3,205 county-level procuratorates with around 176,600 procuratorial staff, accounting for 88 percent and 74 percent of the country's totals, respectively, according to Cao.

The bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), or China's top legislature, opened on Monday and will run until Saturday.

Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, attended Tuesday's meeting.

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