Measure aims to help former soldiers get jobs and strengthen vocational training
The top legislature passed a law on support for veterans on Wednesday that will comprehensively improve benefits for those who have served in the armed forces.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress reviewed the law's third draft on Tuesday and adopted it on Wednesday. The law will take effect on Jan 1.
The State Council and the Central Military Commission submitted the first draft to the top legislature in June for a first reading.
The law aims to improve the handling of veterans' affairs, safeguard their rights and interests and boost the attractiveness of military careers, according to a joint explanation by the Cabinet and the commission.
The law stipulates that the government shall encourage and help veterans land civilian jobs or start their own businesses. It also requires the government and the military to strengthen vocational training to improve veterans' employment prospects.
Employers shall give preference to veterans in recruitment, set lower thresholds for applicants who have served in the military and arrange periodic training for any veterans they hire, according to the law. Human resources agencies shall provide free or discounted services to veterans.
Organizations that hire veterans will be eligible for tax benefits if they meet certain criteria, and small businesses founded by veterans will be able to apply for loans on favorable terms, the law says.
Industry parks or business incubation programs sponsored by the government shall offer favorable terms to veterans who want to open their own businesses. Economically developed regions can set up dedicated programs to assist startups launched by veterans, it adds.
When dismissing employees, publicly funded organizations and State-owned enterprises shall retain as many jobs as possible for veterans, according to the law.
In addition to employment issues, the law also clarifies the principles and work methods of authorities in charge of veterans' affairs, specifies obligations and rights of military retirees and details favorable measures for veterans. War veterans shall be given more retirement benefits than other veterans, the law says.
Liu Jixing, deputy director of the NPC's Constitution and Law Committee, said the law lays a solid legal foundation for the protection of veterans' rights and interests.
Veterans Affairs Minister Sun Shaocheng said veterans have contributed a great deal to national defense and the armed forces. They are an important force in China's modernization drive and are treasured by the Communist Party of China and the State.
He said handling their affairs appropriately is significant for political stability, military building and social security.
China has taken a host of measures over the past two years to improve benefits for veterans and the families of those serving in the military.
The Ministry of Veterans Affairs was established in March 2018, and the National Veterans Service Center was set up in February last year.
Guidelines listed in a document published by the government in January cover almost all elements of veterans' daily lives, ranging from medical care, housing and education to transportation and leisure activities.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, more than 58 million military personnel have re-entered civilian life, according to official statistics.
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