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New Debate on Household Registration   2012-07-13 16:13:00

  A new regulation issued by authorities in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, has renewed debate over the country's household registration system, which many believe is discriminatory, the Guangming Daily reports.

  Under the new regulation, migrant workers in the city who wanted to obtain a residence permit entitling them to the same social services that local residents receive must prove that they have graduated from senior high school, have no criminal record, and have a stable job.

  The regulation's education requirement has angered many people.

  One migrant worker surnamed Zhang who graduated from the Shandong University of Finance and Economics, left his hometown in the province last year and moved to Beijing for work. He said it was very difficult for him to try to obtain a temporary residence permit that would make him eligible for local social benefits that he decided to wait for Beijing officials to issue a new residence permit this year.

  Professor Lu Yilong, in the School of Sociology and Population Studies at Renmin University of China, said the move would allow Chinese cities to manage the flow of migrant workers and get a better grip on urban population, jobs and public resources.

  Professor Wang Taiyuan, who has studied the reform of the household registration system at Chinese People's Public Security University, said the current household registration system that came into effect in 1958 makes it difficult for citizens to reregister their permanent residence permits in other cities. This is why many local governments have made partial reforms under the current regulation.

  Wang also said setting up a national residence permit system was only a problem of time.

  Some experts suggest that the central government set up a new national residence permit system to replace the current controversial household registration system that has existed for more than half a century. They predict that a national residence permit would provide holders the same rights as those who have a hukou, or an official permanent residence permit, in the fields of public transportation, employment, social security and medical insurance, but not in housing, car purchases or children's schooling.


source : Xinhua     editor:: Diana
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