China has vowed to scrap temporary residence permits for its citizens, taking a small step on the path toward a more relaxed household registration system.
State news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday that authorities will replace all temporary permits for migrant workers with permanent residency, which comes with social security and the right to buy cars and homes.
However, there there were no details about when migrants would be offered permanent residency. Instead, the public security reform plan merely said that the level of public services extended to migrants will depend on the duration of their stay, Reuters noted.
Tao Ran, an economic professor and hukou expert at Renmin University, was quoted as saying the change would be cosmetic as many Chinese cities had already stopped issuing temporary permits, which migrants until now had to have before they settled in a new city.
Experts noted that one of the main goals of hukou reform was to separate social welfare perks from residence accounts to ensure that all dwellers in a region received the same benefits.
But some regional governments have been putting up roadblocks as hukou reform is also tied to other reforms, such as revamping government finances and the land registration system.
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