Amid declining birth rates in the country, Chinese authorities issued a directive introducing a series of prenatal and postnatal support policies to promote long-term balanced demographic development.
These measures include better maternal care services and public utility childcare services, improved maternity and parental leave policies, according to the guideline released by the National Health Commission on Tuesday.
The measure also includes preferential housing and tax policies, and the promotion of fertility-friendly workplaces, Xinhua News Agency reported.
In recent years, China has seen an increasing number of people covered by maternity insurance. In 2021, the number reached 240 million, which is 1.5 times that of 2012.
Chinese state media said the newly released directive said local governments could explore ways to expand maternity insurance coverage to include flex-job workers.
The guideline also mentioned other measures, such as creating a fertility-friendly workplace, encouraging flexible work practices, and protecting people’s legal rights and interests in work and employment. use.
As of the 2020 Seventh National Census, China’s population on the mainland has grown by 0.53 percent per year on average over the past decade.
China’s birth rate has been falling since 2017, despite easing the “one-child policy” to avert a looming demographic crisis.
Beijing last year released a new population and family planning law that allows Chinese couples to have three children, ostensibly responding to couples’ reluctance to have additional children due to rising costs.
The decision to allow the third child was implemented after the once-a-decade census in 2020 showed China’s population growing at the slowest rate in history, reaching 1.412 billion people.
China’s demographic problem is expected to worsen as the over-60s rose 18.7% to 264 million people, according to census data.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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