New set of standards for basic public services

Passengers board a self-driving bus in Chongqing. [Photo by WANG QUANCHAO/XINHUA]

The measure will ensure equal access for all and improve livelihoods

China has issued a new standard for basic national public services to ensure equal access for all and improve people’s basic livelihoods, a senior official with the top economic planner said on Wednesday. from the country.

The standard, issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and 20 other departments, covers 80 public services in nine categories, including education, employment, social security, housing and medical services.

Approved by the State Council, the Chinese Cabinet, the standard specifies the purpose, content, standard and expenditure of public services and which government departments are responsible for overseeing the implementation, said Zhao Chenxin, general secretary of the committee.

The country aims to significantly improve the equalization of basic public services by 2025 and effectively ensure equitable access to basic public services by 2035, he told a press conference. organized by the State Council Information Office.

Feng Yaping, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said the new standard includes protection mechanisms for orphans, HIV-positive children and children who have been abandoned by their guardians.

A total of 60,000 orphans live in orphanages, with the government providing monthly assistance of 1,611 yuan ($248) on average, and 134,000 orphans live alone and could receive an average of 1,184 yuan per month in government assistance, said he said, adding that 253,000 de facto abandoned children have also been included in the protection mechanism and can receive similar monthly assistance.

Basic public services also include financial assistance for the elderly in financial difficulty, those who cannot take care of themselves, and subsidies for people over 80, Feng said.

More than 30 million elderly people had received government aid and subsidies by the end of last year, he added.

Zhang Lixin, an official with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said the ministry has offered employment and entrepreneurship counseling to more than 100 million people and helped 1.67 million people who had difficulty finding and getting a job last year.

Chen Xiyuan, an official with the Ministry of Education, said China has implemented a comprehensive government-led student financial aid system to ensure no student drops out of school due to hardship. financial.

It includes waiving tuition and textbook fees for all students in compulsory education and subsidies for poor students from kindergarten to university, he said.

The financial aid system has contributed to significantly increasing the enrollment rate at different levels of schooling, improving the living standards of poor students, helping them to get out of poverty through education and promoting the educational equality and social justice, Chen added.