Beijing relaxes family planning policy

Beijing, Feb 21: China’s capital Beijing Friday relaxed its birth control policy allowing couples to have a second child if either parent is an only child.

An amendment to the Beijing Population and Family Planning Regulations was approved at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress, Xinhua reported.

The city government would provide support by improving hospitals, nurseries and primary schools, and by protecting women’s right to maternity leave, said Wang Delin, vice chairman of the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress.

It is a significant change to family planning policy that has been in effect for more than three decades and part of a plan to raise the fertility rate and ease the financial burden of a rapidly ageing population.

Besides Beijing, Tianjin municipality and the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui have also changed their policy.

Provincial-level governments in Guangxi, Hubei and Jiangsu have announced their intentions to relax the policy in March.

Others, including Hunan, Qinghai and Shanghai, promised changes in the first half of this year.

IANS