Legislators yesterday began reviewing a resolution that defines the outlawed Falun Gong as a 'heretic cult'. Xinhua said the resolution, if adopted by the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, would effectively curb cults like the Buddhist-based sect. 'Cult organisations have seriously undermined social stability, endangered economic development, the safety of people's lives and property, and must be effectively curbed,' the news agency quoted a senior legislator as saying. Dozens of Falun Gong followers staged a demonstration outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where the standing committee met yesterday. An NPC official said hundreds of people looked on outside the hall as police moved in and took away protesters. Hou Zongbin, chairman of the NPC internal and judicial affairs committee, said the Falun Gong's 'poisonous effect' on society was unprecedented. 'Under the leadership and co-ordination of the Communist Party Central, the nation has waged a focused struggle against the heretic cult Falun Gong and achieved a decisive victory,' Mr Hou told members of the Standing Committee. 'But we must realise that the struggle against heretic cults is a long-term and complex mission.' The resolution by the Standing Committee was needed, Mr Hou said. Xinhua said the resolution would draw a distinction between hardcore Falun Gong members and followers who had been 'deceived'. '[The resolution] will unite and educate the majority and punish the very few criminals,' Xinhua said. It would require the judiciary, police and prosecutors to 'seriously crack down on those who organise and use heretic cults to instigate unrest, deceive and murder people, rape women and swindle people out of their money'. The Standing Committee was also due to discuss the controversial Highway Law during its week-long session. According to the China News Service, the State Council had written to the Standing Committee again asking for its approval of the legislation, which was voted down in April by the legislators. However, the legislation appeared to be similar to the one submitted in April, except that the Standing Committee would ask the Government to reduce levies on farmers. The legislation was rejected after legislators feared a new fuel tax proposed under the Highway Law would increase the financial burden on farmers.