China to set ceiling for abuse of one-child rule

File photo of a girl posing for a photograph at a commercial area of downtown Shanghai. Under China’s hugely controversial one-child policy some rural couples are allowed to have a second child if the first is a girl.

Fines for violating family planning rules are to be revised by the National Health and Family Planning Commission to unify standards in different provinces, according to chinanews.com.

A draft proposal sets a ceiling on fines and social maintenance for couples violating rules, suggesting penalties should be less than three times local average annual disposable personal income.

A high-profile case attracting public attention has been that of renowned Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, who was made to pay a huge sum for his contravention of family planning rules, triggering a heated debate about the issue.

Zhang was fined 7.48 million yuan (S$1.59 million) after acknowledging he and his wife had three children before they married.

The draft also states the annual amount of social maintenance fees should be made public.