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English>>China Society

One-child parents get more support

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

14:38, August 09, 2012

A program in Heilongjiang Province is subsidizing some one-child parents in urban areas for their contribution to the family planning policy.

The parents must be older than 60 to qualify for the subsidy, introduced in June, provincial family planning director Jia Yumei said.

Only parents employed in private businesses or the unemployed are eligible for the one-time subsidy of 3,000 yuan ($470) for each parent, she said.

"These benefits for families should be integrated into the policy itself, particularly as the public are more aware of their rights, including childbearing,' Jia told China Daily.

There is no clearly defined national regulation or policy regarding a subsidy for elderly singe-child urban parents, said Lu Jiehua, a sociology professor at Peking University.

The government will constantly enhance benefits for families that adhered to the one-child policy, particularly as they approached retirement age, said Zhao Yanpei, director of the department of policy and legislation at the National Population and Family Planning Commission.

China has about 100 million families with just one child, and 70 to 80 percent of these families live in rural areas, according to the commission.

However, "very few places, like Heilongjiang, give subsidies to urban dwellers', Lu pointed out. "Urban couples have, in fact, done most to support the policy and should be equally supported by the government especially as they approach old age.' But he pointed out that it was hard for the government to allocate funds to support such a large group of people given the imperative of economic growth.

"We didn't expect such a subsidy but are happy to receive it as a show of respect,' said Ni Guoqing, a retired civil servant in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province.

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