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Air pollution and economy among issues addressed

By Wang Yiqing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-20 08:17

Departments and ministries under the State Council, China's Cabinet, have responded to a series of public concerns in the past week, including air pollution, economic operations in 2016 and occupational qualification licensing.

Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining responded to the air quality issue at a news conference on Jan 6, after wide public concern over air pollution control and management.

In recent days a majority of regions, especially in North China, have suffered from serious air pollution.

According to Chen, the pace of air quality improvement is progressing rapidly, indicating the overall direction of pollution control and management is correct. The problem, however, is that pollution control in winter has not improved sufficiently.

Chen suggested strengthening air pollution control and management in winter through six aspects including strictly controlling coal burning, increasing industrial emission standards, enhancing regulation of vehicle emissions and accelerating the process of getting old vehicles off the roads.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission responded to public concerns on haze and pollution at a news conference held on Jan 7.

Officials of the commission said in the next stage they will enhance supervision, risk assessment and early warning of the negative influence haze has on health.

Meanwhile, it will strengthen scientific research of haze through multiple channels, and will soon release protection measures targeting key groups such as children and the aged.

In addition, the commission will issue standards for anti-air pollution products such as anti-haze masks and air cleaners, to further regulate this market and provide guidance to consumers.

Director of National Development and Reform Commission Xu Shaoshi said at a press conference on Jan 10 that in 2016 China's economy and society developed steadily and healthily, and it is expected that in 2016 China's overall GDP growth will be about 6.7 percent.

According to Xu, in the past year China has not implemented the strategy of stimulating demand, instead it has implemented regional, targeted and precise control to cope with various tasks and challenges.

China's economic operations are within a reasonable range and the industrial structure has been gradually optimized. The steady and healthy social and economic development in 2016 ensures a good start for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), he said.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued a document on the reform of further reducing and regulating occupational qualification licensing, which aims to deepen the reform of talent evaluation systems and provide support to facilitate mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

Regulation occupational qualification licensing should follow basic principles such as the acceleration of streamlining administration and delegating power to the lower levels, sticking to market orientation and enhancing supervision and service.

The document requires the canceling of four kinds of occupational qualification licenses, including occupational access qualifications without legal basis and occupational qualification licensing set by local governments.

At the beginning of 2017 the work of cleaning up occupational qualification licensing should be basically completed, and a national professional qualification list should be released. A scientific and standard national professional qualification framework, as well as management and service system, should be established during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

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