BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, on Friday concluded its bimonthly session and passed the law on servicepeople's insurance.
President Hu Jintao signed a presidential decree to promulgate the decision.
The law, the country's first act concerning the welfare of servicepeople and their spouses, defines insurance policies covering death, injury and illness during enlistment, as well as medical insurance and pensions for veterans.
The law exempts service members from paying premiums for their death and injury insurance and provides that premiums will be covered by the state.
Moreover, unemployed spouses of servicepeople who follow their husbands or wives to where they are stationed should join medical insurance and pension programs. The premiums will be paid jointly by themselves and the government, according to the law.
"The law further improves the insurance system for servicepeople, and is of significant importance in encouraging them to fulfil their duties and protecting their legal interests," Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, said while presiding over the closing meeting.
The session also adopted plans on the quota distribution for the 12th NPC deputy election, allowing around 360 deputies from minority groups.
According to the plans, a total of 13 deputies for the 12th NPC will be temporarily selected in Taiwan, and the selection will be based on votes from a 122-strong group consisting of Taiwanese compatriots in provincial-level regions as well as central government departments and the People's Liberation Army.
The selection meeting will last for about a week in Beijing in January 2013.
The session also ratified an amendment to the Constitution of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The amendment, officially known as the Eighth Additional Protocol, was adopted at the 24th UPU Congress held in Geneva in 2008. It improved the process for non-member countries of the United Nations to join the UPU and also stipulated that member states should ensure that their postal operators abide by the rules set down by the constitution.
Wu said the plans were based on wide-ranging surveys and careful calculations, and they also took into account the opinions of central government departments as well as provincial-level NPC bodies.
According to Wu, while deliberating a report on the construction of irrigation and water conservation infrastructure, legislators noted various problems in the field such as weak foundations, lack of investment, low efficiency and inadequate management.
The legislators urged greater investments in irrigation construction in major grain-producing areas, strengthened supervision on water projects as well as more efforts in conserving water by raising public awareness and developing water-saving irrigation facilities.
During the four-day session, legislators also mulled over a report concerning prison conditions and law implementation as well as a report on the administration of entry-exit, residency and employment for foreigners.
Moreover, Wu presided over a lecture on urban cultural construction and the protection of cultural heritage held by the NPC Standing Committee on Friday afternoon.