Provide public services for migrant population

Updated: 2012-11-12 22:45


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The report of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China refers for the first time to migrant workers as a population group transferred from the agricultural sector, and regards them as equal with permanent residents in urban areas, says an article in Beijing News Daily. Excerpts:

The report also requires that basic public services should cover all of the population. This change sends a clear message that migrant populations should be treated in the same way as their urban counterparts and that they are an indispensable part of a well-off society.

The congress report points out the Party will expedite the reform of the household registration system and turn the population transferred from the agricultural sector into urban residents in a gradual and orderly manner, and try its best to provide all residents with basic public services.

The past more than 30 years' of rapid development have seen hundreds of millions of farmers come into the cities.

They have made important contributions to China's development and rapid urbanization. But many of them have yet to obtain urban household registration or have access to the public services available to urban residents.

If the central authorities do not treat them as urban residents, the divide between rural and urban China will grow. No healthy society can exist in that way.

China should eliminate the systematic discrimination deeply ingrained in the household registration system and pursue social justice and fairness by filling the gap between the urban and rural populations and providing more people with public services.

The government should provide more subsidized housing to low-income newcomers to urban areas and promote urbanization in rural towns and counties.

The pace of this reform may vary from place to place because rates of urbanization and development differ across China. But this reform is expected to be carried out across the nation by 2020.