Beijing may relax birth policy in 2014

Beijing, Dec 27 : Beijing has started to examine a draft to relax the more than 30-year-old one-child policy, authorities said Friday.

The standing committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress is mulling an amendment to the Beijing Municipal Population and Family Planning Regulations, Xinhua reported.

If the amendment is passed, the new policy is expected to come into force in March next year.

If the draft is amended, couples will be allowed to have two children if one of them is an only child. Current policy only allows couples who are both single children to have two children.

Standing committee member Sun Shichao said the new policy will increase Beijing's birth rate, which will in turn affect public services and other aspects of society and the economy.

China's family planning policy was first introduced in the late 1970s to control the country's population growth.

It limited the number of children urban couples could have to one, and rural families were allowed to have a second child if the first was a girl, with few exceptions.

The policy was relaxed and its current form stipulates that both parents must be only children if they are to have a second baby.

--IANS (Posted on 27-12-2013)

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