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Beijing tackles population growth

2014-01-17 09:28 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Wang Fan

A series of measures planned by Beijing, including a crackdown on illegal shared housing, and a rise in subway fares, may force some of the floating population away, experts say.

However, they also warned that excessive population growth will remain a problem for the capital.

"Most of the floating population have to rent and also don't have a high income," said Lu Jiehua, sociologist at Peiking University. "This makes them the main group that is going to be affected by these measures."

Without hukou, or permanent residency, the floating population are only allowed to buy homes if they have contributed to the social security fund for five consecutive years or have a certificate of work and residence in Beijing, meaning most have to rent homes.

Many crowd themselves into shared housing because of high rent prices.

On Dec 26, Chen Gang, deputy mayor of Beijing, said the capital will try to end the illegal shared housing problem in 2014.

The Beijing government published a regulation on home leasing on July 18, ruling that living space in a rented apartment should be no less than 5 square meters per person and no change to the original apartment structure should be made.

The city's transport commission has also started a study over price adjustments for public transportation, including for both subway and bus.

Ma Boyi, spokesman for the commission, said raising subway fares during rush hour was one option, but the commission is also studying other options; to charge according to stations; to raise the 2 yuan (33 cents) fare and a price adjustment depending on the subway operation segment.

A subway ticket for 2 yuan currently allows passengers to reach any subway station.

On Jan 7, Xicheng district confirmed Beijing Zoo Wholesale Market and Dahongmen wholesale market will be moved.

According to Sun Shuo, deputy director of Xicheng district, the relocation of the zoo market is in accordance with central government requirements for the "harmonious and sustainable development of population, resources and environment".

The third session of the 11th Communist Party of China Beijing Committee asked to devote greater efforts to removing markets for garments, small commodities and building materials, Sun said.

Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun said on Dec 22 at a session of the CPC Beijing Committee that the capital will give high priority to curb the explosive growth of its population.

"To resolutely control the population's excessive growth is the key to solving multiple problems, such as traffic and environmental problems," he said, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The Beijing government's decision came after the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, held from Nov 9 to 12, passed a decision to strictly restrict the scale of the city.

According to data published by Beijing's bureau of statistics, as of the end of 2012 the permanent population in the capital had reached 20.69 million, far exceeding the planned target of 18 million by 2020.

Beijing saw its population increase by 6.37 million people from 2000 to 2011 and three-fourths of the increase is from the floating population.

Provincial Two Sessions 2014

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