China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) will continue to charge social maintenance fees from violators of the family planning policy despite calls for its abolishment.
The family planning authority conveyed the message during a symposium held on Dec. 2 in response to some critics' calls for the government to abolish the 12-year-old fee because it is already outdated.
"As long as China has the family planning policy, the social maintenance fees will be in place, as they serve to bolster policy implementation," Renmin University School of Sociology and Population Studies Deputy Director Song Jian explained.
Though China's legislators declared a more loose family planning policy by allowing a second child for couples with one spouse being an only child, they maintained their position that the one-child policy still has a positive long-term effect on the country's socio-economic development.
According to the commission's spokesperson Song Shuli, there is still no timetable yet for the establishment of an overall two-child policy, noting that it "requires further investigation and assessment" because of the massive effect of any change in policies regarding population control.
Song further explained that such rules take a long time to polish and require fluid demographic and national situations, needing lengthy patience and tolerance.
According to experts, collected social maintenance fees, first introduced in 2002, are estimated to amount to over 20 billion yuan ($3.25 billion) every year.
Commission spokesperson Yao Hongwen explained that fees collected are used to finance public services and all kinds of social courses at the local level and not for family planning services.