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Benefits should spread to farmers

By Ding Yuanzhu (China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-22 08:55

Benefits should spread to farmers

The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council have issued a series of policies this year on the reform of the household registration (hukou) system.

The reform of the hukou system, which for long has prevented rural residents from permanently settling in cities and hindered urban-rural development, got a shot in the arm this year from the policies. And with the Party and governments at the local levels also exploring ways to reform the hukou system, 2014 has been a breakthrough year for the reform process.

The hukou reform is a complicated project that requires overall consideration and differential treatment depending on actual local conditions, such as the size of a population. So, cities and towns should implement hukou reform according to local capabilities and development potential, as well as the real conditions of farmers-turned-workers, including their length of service and period of residence in urban areas.

Under the premise of legal and stable employment and residence (including renting houses), restrictions on migrant workers on becoming permanent residents of small cities and towns should be completely lifted; in case of cities with populations between 500,000 and 1 million, they should be gradually lifted, and for big cities with populations between 1 and 3 million, they should be lifted to only a certain extent. The hukou restrictions in cities with populations between 3 and 5 million should be determined by the real conditions on the ground, while in those with populations above 5 million should be strictly controlled.

The aim should be to establish a unified household registration system both in urban and rural areas to break the urban-rural differential management system. And the public service system, including compulsory education, employment opportunities, pension, medical treatment and housing security - which is directly related to the hukou system - should be extended to the entire population.

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