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China plans for extra 2 mn babies a year after easing one-child policy

Beijing, May 30 (): China is doing arrangements to beat out the requirements needed to take care of extra 2 million babies a year as the country eases its one-child limit thus giving the opportunity to more couples to have two children.

An official from National Health and Family Planning Commission, Zhang Shikun, said that the authorities have requested the local officials to construct more health-care centres for children and women and also to add more maternity beds. The bed shortage has become universal, Wang Guoqiang, NHFPC’s vice minister said Thursday.

The one-child policy was introduced by the ruling Communist Party in 1980 to control the growth of the population and the demand for essentials things such as water, food and others. By this policy, most couples from urban areas were permitted to have only one child and get penalties and fines for every additional birth.

Now, China has relaxed its one-child population policy followed for decades and the new policy will allow couples to give birth to a second child if one of couple was an only child. Previously, both parents had to be an only child to qualify for this exemption. The new policy has been formulated as per a vital decision of Communist Party of China (CPC) released in November 2013, Xinhua reported.

The new policy has come into effect in cities like Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing and Shanghai and the provinces of Anhui, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Guangdong. On Thursday, Ningxia region government announced a similar change.

In 2013, 18.5 million births took place in China as per  UNICEF, the agency for children of UN. The increase in forecast would be equivalent to about 11% of that figure.

The number of two million extra births is the maximum level forecasted by experts centred on less preventive policy. Some experts say the number might be still lower due the growing acceptance of smaller families in China.