By Zhang Tianpei, Jin Xin, People's Daily
Installing elevators for old residential buildings is an issue that always concerns Li Li, a deputy to China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC).
Li, also an employee of Daye Nonferrous Metals Group in central China's Hubei province, has frequently visited senior residents living on high floors of historic buildings without elevators and thus well understands the urgency of solving the problem.
"Due to the lack of convenient access, many senior residents and those seriously ill or disabled living on high floors have never left their homes for more than a year," said Li.
Therefore, during a session of the NPC, Li proposed to enhance fiscal support for the installation of elevators for old residential communities as a way to proactively respond to the aging population.
Her suggestion was well received by the Ministry of Finance and other relevant departments.
Between 2019 and 2022, China allocated over 330 billion yuan ($48.07 billion) from its central budget to support the renovation of 167,000 old residential communities, which benefited over 29 million households. A total of 69,000 elevators were installed in old urban communities across the country thanks to the renovation programs.
Suggestions from NPC deputies are important for state organs to draw on public opinion and pool the wisdom of the people, said Guo Zhenhua, deputy secretary general of the NPC Standing Committee.
According to him, deputies made a total of 43,750 suggestions in the past five years. In particular, 42,675 were made during the NPC sessions while 1,075 were inter-sessional. So far, all of the 43,750 matters have been handled.
Over the past five years, the studying, proposal and adoption of suggestions from NPC deputies have practically solved all kinds of public problems. It mirrored the responsibility of the NPC deputies and state organs to carry out duties for the people and serve the people.
During the NPC's annual plenary session in March 2022, a total of 9,203 suggestions were collected from more than 2,200 deputies, a new high in history.
Each of the suggestions had an online chat group for discussion. Establishing individual online chat groups for specific matters now remains an important measure for the General Office of the NPC Standing Committee to improve its efficiency in handling suggestions from deputies.
Deputies can have direct contact with corresponding officials in chat groups, which makes communication easier and more effective, said Fu Wenjie, an official with the General Office of the NPC Standing Committee.
This helps avoid the situation in which deputies and relevant officials lose contact with each other, Fu added.
Besides, a digital working platform was launched to assist deputies in better performing their duties before the NPC session last year. The platform enables the full cycle of online processing of the proposals and suggestions put forward by NPC deputies, making information available on their receipt, handling, inquiries and feedback.
Apart from employing online communication, the NPC also enhanced face-to-face talks to promote efficiency.
In June 2022, NPC deputy Chai Shanshan, who's also a mail handler with China Post in Shanghai, came to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to attend a special meeting.
Chai noticed that many deliverymen couldn't have their rights and interests well protected during his work in the postal sector. Therefore, he submitted a suggestion to the NPC about improving social security for laborers doing flexible jobs.
To better handle the suggestion, the ministry invited Chai and other deputies that made similar suggestions to have a face-to-face discussion. Another seven deputies attended the meeting via video link.
The ministry and the deputies had in-depth exchanges that lasted half a day, and progress was made effectively. The meeting talked about issues such as the supervision of platforms and enterprises for the protection of laborers' rights and interests.
Over the past five years, relevant departments have actively adopted suggestions and advice from NPC deputies.
The National Intellectual Property Administration has rolled out multiple documents based on 13 suggestions from NPC deputies.
The Ministry of Water Resources, taking advice from relevant deputies, listed the comprehensive treatment of the Yellow River in Ningxia Hui autonomous region as one of the 55 major water projects.
The National Healthcare Security Administration also listened to NPC deputies' suggestions about negotiations on medicines to be covered by China's national medical insurance system, and for the first time decided, at the state level, to encourage more retail pharmacies to link up with the country's medical insurance system for reimbursements.
China, taking NPC deputies' suggestions practically, has tackled many pressing difficulties and problems that are of great concern to the people. It vividly explains the country's whole-process people's democracy.