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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Chinese Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao has told a teleconference on rural affairs that despite clear-cut government orders on reducing local levies on farmers, some regions were still persisting in raising income by maintaining or creating illegal fees for farmers to pay. He called for an action plan on this issue and told local governments to streamline their offices so that money could be saved. Wen said called for more detailed policy and punishments on the issue. He also said that peasants who work as migrant labourers in cities should be protected so that employers did not over-exploit them or default on their wages. The following is the text of the report entitled: "Wen Jiabao speaks at teleconference, calling for further lessening burdens on peasants" by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)
Beijing, 4 September: The General Office of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council today held a national teleconference on the work of alleviating the burdens on the peasants. Wen Jiabao, member of the CCP Central Political Bureau, member of the CCP Central Secretariat, and vice-premier of the State Council, stressed at the meeting that alleviating the burdens on the peasants and safeguarding peasants' interests is the most realistic and most concrete embodiment of the results of the study and education activities around the important thinking on "three representations" [Chinese: san ge dai biao; on the importance of the communist party in modernizing the nation - representing the demands for the development of advanced social productive forces, the direction of advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the greatest majority of the …