Beijing may compensate families previously banned from having two children during the decades when China’s one-child policy was in force.
The State Council is contemplating doling out subsidies to households with only one child. The hope is that those with no brothers or sisters, known as the “one-child policy survivors” and who are now in their prime reproductive years, will have more babies.
Beijing was panicked to discover that newborns may become an “endangered species” in some parts of China, like the northeastern provinces.
Subsidies could be paid to one-child families in rural areas, families with special needs and those residing in less developed provinces in the west, according to the People’s Daily.
This is another admission by state media that Beijing had overdone its birth control policy since the 2000s when China’s population growth started to lose momentum and its subsequent revisions to allow parents to have more babies was too little and too late.
In 2006, Beijing started paying an annual stipend of about 600 yuan (US$88) to each rural resident aged above 60 with no child and similar allowances were also paid to parents of deceased or disabled children whose hope of having another baby were dashed by the one-child policy.
Central and local governments will pay for the subsidies, according to a notice released on the State Council’s website on Monday.
Introduced in 1979, China’s one-child policy was implemented for more than 30 years and averted an estimated 400 million births. The policy began to be phased out into a two-child policy at the end of 2015.