The government has allocated Yn540m in treasury bonds to improve mining safety standards, Xinhua reported. The funds will be used to upgrade the safety systems of 81 major coal-mining enterprises. In a related move, the central government has removed the right of local governments below provincial level to licence mining operations.
The measures came after explosions in five small coal mines in Shanxi province in November 2001 killed a total of 99 miners. Officials said the mines were operating without licences, having been illegally reopened after being closed as potential accident risks.