20 million jobless migrant workers return home
www.chinaview.cn 2009-02-02 12:06:36   Print
 
About 20 million of China's migrant workers have returned home after losing their jobs.
About 15.3% of the 130 mln migrant workers had returned jobless from cities to  countryside.
The 1st document this year warned 2009 will be "possibly the toughest year" since the year 2000.

Chen Xiwen, director of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Rural Work, speaks at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office, Feb. 2, 2009. (Xinhua/Gao Xueyu)
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    BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- About 20 million of China's migrant workers have returned home after losing their jobs as the global financial crisis takes a toll on the economy, said a senior official here on Monday.

    Chen Xiwen, director of the office of the central leading group on rural work, said about 15.3 percent of the 130 million migrant workers had returned jobless from cities to the countryside.

    The figures were based on a survey by the Ministry of Agriculture in 150 villages in 15 provinces, carried out before the week-long Lunar New Year holiday which began on Jan. 25.

    His remarks came a day after the central government issued its first document this year, which warned 2009 will be "possibly the toughest year" since the turn of the century in terms of securing economic development and consolidating the "sound development momentum" in agriculture and rural areas.

    The country's economic growth slowed to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, dragging down the annual rate to a seven-year low of 9 percent.

    The document urged local and central government departments to adopt measures to create jobs and increase rural incomes.

    Companies were asked to take on more social responsibilities and give rural migrant workers more favorable employment treatment. Flexible employment policies and more training chances were also encouraged.

    Meanwhile, local government departments should increase investment to provide favorable tax and fee policies to those who lost jobs in cities and expect to find new work in their hometowns.

    The government also urged departments to map out basic pension insurance measures suitable for rural conditions and migrant workers to ensure their rights.

Chinese farmers' income up 8% in 2008, but official warns of tough 2009

    BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese farmers' net per capita income rose 8 percent last year, but it would be difficult to maintain that pace of growth in 2009, a senior agriculture official told a press conference here Monday.

    Chen Xiwen, director of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Rural Work, said the figure was 4,761 yuan (697 U.S. dollars) in 2008, the fifth consecutive year of 6-percent-plus growth. Full story

China vows to avoid involving police in rural social unrest in "hardest" year

    BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- The government would not use police forces as the first resort to dealing with possible social unrest in rural areas this year, a senior Chinese official said Monday.

    "Police will not be called in unless there are extreme cases of violence, such as beating, looting and arson," Chen Xiwen, director of the office of the central leading group on rural work, told a press conference here. Full story

China's gov't warns 2009 to be "the toughest" year since 2000

    BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's government Sunday warned 2009 will be "possibly the toughest year" since the turn of the century in terms of securing economic development and consolidating the "sound development momentum" in agriculture and rural areas.

    The lingering global financial crisis and the slowdown of the world economy had exerted an increasingly negative impact on the Chinese economy, said the first document of the year issued jointly by the State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Full story

Promoting agriculture in times of hardship

    BEIJING, Feb. 2 -- At the beginning of the year of ox, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council jointly issued the No.1 Document concerning the "three rural issues" (a formula used to address the three key issues in the development of rural China: the industrialization of agriculture; the reform of the household registration system; the relief of farmers' life burden and the raise of their cultural level).

    The document was entitled "Opinions on Policies for Promoting steady agricultural development and Facilitating Farmers' Incomes" and it was a best Spring Festival present given to farmers by the central government. Full story

Editor: Yan
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