A law providing mainlanders with basic insurance needs - covering fundamental medical care, workrelated injuries, and unemployment and maternity insurance - was one of four laws passed yesterday by the National People's Congress, state media reported.
The NPC Standing Committee also adopted laws applying to grass-roots elections and to civil relationships involving foreigners, and an amendment to the law on how deputies to the NPC and various levels of People's Congresses are chosen, Xinhua reported. President Hu Jintao signed the new laws yesterday afternoon, according to China News Service.
The Social Insurance Law, adopted on its fourth reading, will take effect from July 1 after consideration of the public's opinion of the draft. Its original draft was in late 2007.
In light of the embezzlement of 10 billion yuan (HK$11.6 billion) of social insurance funds in Shanghai - which brought down municipal Communist Party secretary Chen Liangyu in 2006 - the new law stipulates that separate bank accounts and independent audits must be applied to different types of insurance, China News Service said.
The report said that if any violations, such as the hiding, transferring, illegal use or embezzlement of social security funds, were found, those in charge of the funds would be subject to punishment in addition to the confiscation of all profits made illegally.
The meeting also approved the appointment of Vice-President Xi Jinping to be a vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, two days after he made his debut as a deputy head of the Communist Party's Central Military Commission - the post to which he was appointed on October 18 before the end of the fifth plenum of the party's Central Committee.
Both commissions comprise the same people but are technically different entities, one belonging to the party and the other to the central government.