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UPDATED: March 14, 2009 NO. 11 MAR. 19, 2009
Proposals of the Day

The motion suggested eliminating vulgar and misleading online games from the market and revoking the licenses of Internet cafes that allow underage children. The motion also suggested that the authorities introduce a rating system to guide and clean up the sector.

A Cleaner Yangtze River

Chen Qinghua, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC Jiangxi Provincial Committee

The motion focused on protection of the Yangtze River, which faces the risk of increased pollution. Environmental authorities have found heavy pollutants in the river water, and that the volume of polluted water discharged into the river has been growing by 3 percent year on year.

The big cities along the river deplete its water resources and pursue heavy industries in a single-minded chase of economic benefits, thus putting the river's water environment at risk, the motion said.

The motion suggested that all provinces along the river work across geographic barriers and coordinate protection efforts, establish a legal system of water resource protection, and set up a long-term incentive mechanism for controlling pollutants.

Educating Migrant Children

Central Committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy

The motion focused on a disadvantaged group of people-the children of migrant workers, many of whom receive inadequate education.

The motion said there were around 14 million rural children under the age of 14 who had crammed into cities with their parents. But many of them could not afford or had no access to education in public schools. Meanwhile, many private schools were underqualified in terms of teaching staff and safety facilities.

The motion suggested granting migrant children equal education rights and extending support to those with financial difficulties. Private schools should also be improved so as to better educate those children, it said.


Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China

The motion offered one more option to alleviate the country's employment strains-providing financing to university graduates who start their own businesses.

The motion pointed out that it was difficult for university graduates to obtain loans from commercial banks to start their own businesses, because they lack collateral. The funding difficulties have dampened the students' enthusiasm for entrepreneurial endeavors and added to rising unemployment worries, it said.

The motion suggested adding incentives for financial institutions to strengthen financing support to university graduates during the initial stage of their startups and encouraging financial innovations aimed at helping young entrepreneurs. Microcredit issued to them could also be supported with interest subsidies, it added.

Cheaper Tours

Feng Shiliang, Director of the Liaoning Provincial Diabetes Medical Center

The motion said relatively high admission fees at many scenic spots in China were a drain on the tourism industry. Compared with many developed countries, high ticket prices in China have been a financial burden for many traveling families.

The motion proposed lowering admission fees in an effort to stimulate the tourism industry and expand domestic consumption. Moreover, it has been a global trend to open natural landscape sites to the public for free, it said.

The motion cited the West Lake in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, as an example. Since April 2003 when the lake was opened free of charge, the annual number of visitors has increased by millions, generating billions of dollars in economic benefits, it said.

Shortening the Workweek

Zhang Xiaomei, Editor in Chief of China Beauty Fashion News

The motion said the current work system of "eight hours a day and five days a week" has become a burden on urban transport networks and a drain on people's work efficiency. Now is the time to follow the world trend of fewer work hours, it said.

The motion suggested the government shorten the workweek to four and a half days, as many European countries have already done. Moreover, it would also bring a variety of benefits.

First, it would relive some of the pressure on overstressed urban transport networks during rush hours. Second, it would make workers more efficient and reduce accidents in the workplace. Third, it would help create a greater need for labor, which would be a boon for the chilly job market. Fourth, less work time would mean more leisure time for employees and improve their overall quality of life.

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