[CND, 01/22/02] China's central government has told local officials that they are no longer allowed to slap fines on violators of the nation's One-Child policy, AFP reported, quoting Sunday's Beijing Daily.
According to JIANG Yeman, spokesman of the State Family Planning
Commission, those who break the population control policy will pay the
compensation directly to the central government, which will
determine the amount based on local average and individual incomes. It
was illegal for local governments to set their own penalty rate on the
violators, he said. Jiang emphasized that the penalty was not fine but
for taking up more social resources.
Details on the rate and collection of the penalty have yet to be laid out. Civil servants and high-income individuals are expected to face stiffer penalty.
China's population control policy limits one child for each couple in the cities and two for those who live in rural areas and whose first child is a girl. Families of ethnic minorities are allowed to have two or three children.
The government claimed that the 12-year policy had led to 300 million fewer births to the world's biggest population, which is now at 1.3 billion. It has vowed to carry on the policy to achieve its goal of controlling the population at the 1.6 billion level by the year 2050.
Western critics blamed the policy for infanticide, forced abortions and selective abortion of female fetuses. It was the main cause, the critics alleged, of the high ratio of 117 boys born to every 100 girls in China, compared to the world average of 106:100. (LIU Weijun)