|BEIJING, Dec. 28, 2018 -- In 2018, the National People's Congress (NPC) and its Standing Committee stepped up efforts on legislation in key areas that directly affect the livelihood of the people.
The legislation work covered various fields such as medicine, environmental protection, tax and e-commerce.
ENSURING PUBLIC HEALTH
During the ongoing seventh session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee, a draft law on vaccine management aiming to tighten supervision over the industry has been presented for discussion.
In October, a draft amendment to the Drug Administration Law was reviewed by the NPC Standing Committee during its bimonthly session. The draft amendment came amid the country's escalated crackdown on counterfeit drugs and tougher penalties for offenders.
A draft law boosting basic healthcare and raising health awareness was put before the lawmakers at the same time.
Such legislation is among the most significant efforts in improving the public health sector and gives people access to better medical services and higher-quality medicine.
WAGING WAR ON POLLUTION
In May and June this year, four inspection groups with the NPC Standing Committee visited 26 cities and prefectures to check implementation of the Air Pollution Control Law and entrusted local legislatures in 23 provincial-level regions with inspections.
The NPC carried out supervision campaigns in line with the three-year plan on air-pollution control released by the State Council in July.
Soil pollution has received equal attention from Chinese lawmakers, as the NPC Standing Committee passed a law on soil pollution prevention and control in August.
Much legislation that took place in 2018 aimed to provide the public with visible benefits, such as the revision of the income tax law in August.
In accordance with the revised law, the minimum threshold for personal income tax was raised from 3,500 yuan (about 508 U.S. dollars) to 5,000 yuan per month starting Oct. 1.
On Dec. 22, the State Council announced the special individual income tax deductions included in the law intended for those who have expenditures in six areas such as children's education and continuing education. The new temporary measures will come into effect alongside the revised income tax law on Jan. 1, 2019.
While some legislation aims to provide, others aim to protect.
In an August session, the NPC Standing Committee adopted an e-commerce law to maintain order in the online market, regulate operators and protect consumers. The law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
Legislation regarding people's livelihoods was underlined in the NPC Standing Committee's work plan released September. According to the plan, legislation on pre-school education and revision of the Law on the Protection of Minors are on schedule.
"Lawmakers in China will work tirelessly on legislation work and make further progress in modernizing China's system and capacity for governance," said Xu Anbiao, vice chairman of Commission for Legislative Affairs of the 13th NPC Standing Committee.