Baby loans: the Chinese province’s strategy to beat the blues of the population

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A stroller is seen as mothers play with their children in a public space in downtown Shanghai on November 19, 2013. REUTERS / Carlos Barria / File Photo

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BEIJING, Dec.23 (Reuters) – Jilin, in northeast China, offers married couples bank loans of up to 200,000 yuan ($ 31,400) if they have children, joining other provinces in the deployment of financial incentives to overcome population decline.

Some small businesses started by couples with two or three children will also benefit from exemptions and reductions in value-added tax, the Jilin government said in a statement on Thursday. Read more

China’s demographic problems are particularly acute in the three Rust Belt provinces of northeast Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang, as residents ventured to other provinces for work as couples postponed. marriage or were planning to start a family.

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The region’s population fell 10.3% in 2020 compared to 2010. Jilin fell 12.7%.

Provinces have been given more impetus to tackle demographic concerns after China said in May it would allow married couples to have up to three children instead of two.

The move came following a census showing that China’s population has grown at its slowest rate in the past decade since the 1950s, raising concerns that China will age before it gets rich, and sparking criticism that authorities had waited too long to tackle declining births.

Recent official data also showed that China had a fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman in 2020, on par with aging societies like Japan and Italy and below the roughly 2 children needed to replace their parents. .

In October, Anhui, in eastern China, warned that the number of births in the province could drop 17.8% this year from 2020, extending a “cliff-like” plunge in recent years. years.

Jilin also said he would also extend the length of paid maternity leave from 98 days to 180 days and a man’s breastfeeding leave from 15 to 25 days, joining other provinces in rewriting laws to allow more maternity and paternity leave. Read more

($ 1 = 6.3704 yuan Chinese renminbi)

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Reporting by Ryan Woo and Albee Zhang; Editing by Michael Perry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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