Chinese couples not asked to pay ‘second child deposit’: Officials | world | Hindustan Times
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Chinese couples not asked to pay ‘second child deposit’: Officials

world Updated: Feb 15, 2016 14:33 IST

Married couples in China were, from January 1, allowed to have two children after concerns over an ageing population and shrinking workforce ushered in an end to the country's controversial one-child policy.(AFP Photo)

An official with China’s top family planning authority refuted claims that newlyweds must pay a deposit before marriage to encourage couples to give birth to a second child, the media reported on Monday.

“The collection of a ‘second-child deposit’ is a rumour, and we have never issued such a policy,” the official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) told the Global Times on Sunday.

“The NHFPC has not received any complaints about the collection of such deposits,” added the official.

Some netizens said that local marriage registry offices were collecting ‘second-child deposits’ ranging from 1,000 yuan ($155) to 8,000 yuan. They claimed that the money would be returned after the family’s second child is born.

Similar information about such “deposits” has been circulating on the internet since 2011.

Marriage registry offices in Liaoning, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces -- which allegedly charged the ‘second-child deposit’ to newlyweds in 2016 -- also said online claims are unfounded rumours.

China introduced its family planning policy in the 1970s. The policy was relaxed for the first time in 2013, allowing couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child.

China further relaxed the family planning policy in January 2016, allowing all couples to have a second child.

Population experts previously interpreted the move as a shift in the mindset from regarding population as a burden to encouraging child-bearing as a way to tackle problems caused by labour shortage and an aging society.