Posts tagged ‘Marriage’

30/12/2015

Top 10 policy changes in China in 2015

  1. Two children for all couples

China will allow all couples to have two children, abandoning its decades-long one-child policy, the Communist Party of China announced in late October. The change is intended to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population.

Under the new policy, couples who have two children can enjoy longer maternity leave and they could have more than two children if eligible. Current longer marriage and maternity leaves enjoyed by citizens who marry late and delay having children will be removed, and so will the rewards for couples who volunteer to have only one child.

The two-child policy will come into force on Jan 1.

2. Raising the retirement age

The 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) proposes progressively raising the retirement age to help address the country’s pension pressure and labor shortage.

On Nov 20, the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security said raising the retirement age will be done progressively in small steps. The authority will raise the retirement age by several months every year, and the policy adjustment will be made public in advance. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security is drawing up the policy and will solicit public opinions on the completed draft.

In 2017, China should complete the integration of its two pension systems. From 2018, the retirement age for women should be raised one year every three years, and the retirement age for men should be raised one year every six years. This means in 2045, the retirement age for both men and women will be 65.

3. Household permits on the way for all

China will provide unregistered citizens with household registration permits, a crucial document entitling them to social welfare, according to a high–level reform meeting held in early December.

“It is a basic legal right for Chinese citizens to lawfully register for hukou. It’s also a premise for citizens to participate in social affairs, enjoy rights and fulfill duties,” said a statement released on Dec 9 after a meeting of the central leading group for comprehensively deepening reform.

The meeting was told that registration should take place regardless of family planning and other policy limits, and that those without hukou who face difficulties in applying should have their problems solved.

4. Unified pension system

The landmark pension reform plan, announced by the State Council on Jan 14, aims to eliminate the dual-track pension system in China.

New measures on old-age insurance were unveiled for the nearly 40 million workers in government agencies and public institutions, most of whom are civil servants, doctors, teachers and researchers. Insurance will now be paid by both workers and organizations, instead of just by organizations or central finance as in the past.

Before the measures were introduced, corporate employees had to pay for their own old-age insurance, while government staff enjoyed pensions without making any contribution at all. The reform helps to bring fairness and quench long-term public outcry.

5. Rural residents encouraged to buy properties in cities

China will roll out measures to reduce its property inventory and stabilize its ailing housing market, said a statement released on Dec 21 after a key policy meeting.

Rural residents relocating to urban areas should be allowed to register as city residents, which would enable them to buy or rent property, according to the conference.

In addition, a low-rent public housing program will cover those without household registration.

6. Harsher environmental protection law

China’s revised Environmental Protection Law came into effect on Jan 1, bringing with it heavier punishments.

According to the revised law, extra fines accumulating on a daily basis will be imposed on enterprises that fail to rectify violations.

Local officials may be demoted or sacked for misconduct, including the concealment of offenses, falsifying data, failing to publicize environmental data, and not giving closure orders to enterprises that illegally discharge pollutants.

7. Entrepreneurship encouraged among college students

The Ministry of Education announced in May that more than 30 measures would be introduced to support students starting their own businesses, and for innovation in scientific and academic research.

The measures are outlined in a series of guidelines released by the State Council, including developing and opening compulsory and selective courses for students, and awarding them credits for taking the courses.

Establishing innovation and entrepreneurship records, with transcripts for students, encouraging teachers to guide students in innovation and starting up businesses, and providing them with funds and supporting them to take part in entrepreneurship contests are also on the list.

8. New plan targets water pollution

China released the Action Plan for Water Pollution Prevention and Control on April 16 to tackle serious water pollution, aiming to intensify government efforts to reduce emissions of pollutants and to protect supplies.

The plan calls for 70 percent of the water in the country’s seven major river basins, including the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, to be in good condition by 2020, and for a continued improvement to 75 percent by 2030.

The amount of “black and smelly water” in urban areas will be reduced to 10 percent by 2020 and will largely disappear by 2030.

9. Toughest smoking ban in Beijing

A new regulation on tobacco use took effect in Beijing on June 1. The regulation extends existing smoking bans to include all indoor public areas and workplaces, plus a number of outdoor areas, including schools, seating areas in sports stadiums and hospitals where women or children are treated.

Violators will face fines of up to 200 yuan ($32), a twentyfold increase from the previous 10-yuan penalty stipulated by the previous regulation adopted in 1996. Owners of buildings classified as public places, such as restaurants, that fail to stop smokers lighting up face fines of up to 10,000 yuan.

Members of the public can report violations to the authorities by dialing a health hotline (12320) or via social media.

10. Price control on most medicines lifted

China has lifted price controls on most medicines since June 1 with the intention of creating a more market-driven pricing system that will help keep medical costs in check.

Only narcotics and some listed psychotropic drugs continue to be controlled by the government, with ceiling retail prices.

Public health departments must boost supervision on medical institutions and check improper medicine and medical equipment use, as well as excessive checkups and treatment, according to a notice issued in May.

From: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-12/28/content_22835045.htm

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19/04/2015

The marriage squeeze in India and China: Bare branches, redundant males | The Economist

KHAPs are informal local councils in north-western India. They meet to lay down the law on questions of marriage and caste, and are among India’s most unflinchingly conservative institutions. They have banned marriage between people of different castes, restricted it between people from the same village and stand accused of ordering honour killings to enforce their rulings, which have no legal force. India’s Supreme Court once called for khaps to be “ruthlessly stamped out”. In April 2014, however, the Satrol khap, the largest in Haryana, one of India’s richest states, relaxed its ban on inter-caste marriage and made it easier for villagers to marry among their neighbours. “This will bring revolutionary change to Haryana,” said Inder Singh, president of the khap.

The cause of the decision, he admitted, was “the declining male-female sex ratio in the state”. After years of sex-selective abortions in favour of boys, Haryana has India’s most distorted sex ratio: 114 males of all ages for every 100 females. In their search for brides, young men are increasingly looking out of caste, out of district and out of state. “This is the only way out to keep our old traditions alive,” said Mr Singh. “Instead of getting a bride from outside the state who takes time to adjust, we preferred to prune the jurisdiction of prohibited areas.”

The revision of 500 years of custom by its conservative guardians symbolises a profound change not just in India. Usually dubbed the “marriage squeeze”, the change refers both to the fact of having too many men chasing too few brides and the consequence of it in countries where marriage has always been nearly universal. Sex selection at birth is common in China and India. The flight from marriage—with women marrying later, or not at all—is long established in Japan and South Korea. But until recently, Asia’s twin giants have not felt the effects of sexual imbalance in marriage. Now they are.

The marriage squeeze is likely to last for decades, getting worse before it gets better. It will take the two countries with their combined population of 2.6 billion—a third of humanity—into uncharted territory. Marriage has always been a necessary part of belonging to society in India and China. No one really knows how these countries will react if marriage is no longer universal. But there may be damaging consequences. In every society, large numbers of young men, unmarried and away from their families, are associated with abnormal levels of crime and violence.

via The marriage squeeze in India and China: Bare branches, redundant males | The Economist.

26/08/2014

For young Indian urbanites, caste is no longer a marital consideration – but Mummy and Papa are

Caste and language are losing significance in urban India, at least as far as marriage is concerned, according to a survey of more than 400 single adults in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. But other social traditions are not being forgotten: adults between the ages of 20 and 35 say the most important thing is that their partner respects elders and treats their spouse’s family just as they do their own.

More than half of the participants in the survey conducted by Floh, a forum for singles to meet and interact online and offline, said they would take the decision of whom to marry jointly with their parents. Only 22% believed that they could marry someone their parents did not entirely approve of. The respondents all came from similar socio-economic background, with at least an undergraduate degree and earning more than Rs 40,000 per month.

Floh founder Siddharth Mangharam believes that the survey shows that India treads its own path when it comes to social interactions. “We are not following some Western ideology, just 20 or 30 years behind,” he said.

Young urban Indians – and parents, who were also interviewed – seem to have unshakable faith in the idea that humans fall in love at first sight. When asked, 71% of single adults and 62% of parents said they were convinced the phenomenon existed. Most respondents’ main reason for being single was that they had not found the “right one”.

via Scroll.in – News. Politics. Culture..

13/07/2013

Women and the property market: Married to the mortgage

The Economist: “CHINA’s communists attacked many bourgeois institutions after taking power in 1949. But marriage was not one of them. On the contrary, they enacted a marriage law in 1950, four years before they introduced a constitution. The pressure to marry remains heavy in today’s China, where almost 80% of adults have tied the knot at some point, compared with only 68% in America. But today, in contrast to the 1950s, marriage is bound up with another bourgeois institution: property.

In China mortgages often precede marriages. According to popular belief, if a man and his family cannot buy property he will struggle to find a bride. In choosing a husband, three-quarters of women consider his ability to provide a home, according to a recent survey of young people in China’s coastal cities by Horizon China, a Beijing-based market-research firm. Even if a woman herself dismisses this criterion, her family and friends, not to mention the country’s estate agents, will not let her forget it.

“Naked marriages”, as property-less ones are known, are endorsed by increasing numbers of young people. But as they get older, their attitudes may regress faster than society’s progress. One 28-year-old Beijing woman married her husband after falling in love with him at college. But “if you introduced a man to me now, and he couldn’t afford a home, I wouldn’t marry him,” she says. “I need to be more realistic. I’m not a 20-year-old girl.”

Some economists argue that competition for brides in China’s marriage “market” helps explain the punishingly high prices in its property market. Houses are least affordable in those parts of China where men most outnumber women, argue Shang-jin Wei of Columbia University, Xiaobo Zhang of the International Food Policy Research Institute and Yin Liu of Tsinghua University (see chart).

 

via Women and the property market: Married to the mortgage | The Economist.

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