China is set to make 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries redundant as part of its £10bn restructure programme, due to a slump in the country's manufacturing activity.
Speaking at a news conference, Minister for Human Resources and Social Security Yin Weimin said that as part of the decision, jobs of 1.3 million workers in the coal sector could be axed, while 500,000 workers from the steel sector are set to face redundancy.
Data published by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that coal and steel sectors in China employ about 12 million workers.
Over the next two years, the central government is planning to allocate ¥100bn ($15.27bn) to relocate workers laid off as a result of the country's efforts to reduce overcapacity.
The primary focus of the fund would be on the steel as well as coal sectors.
China Academy of Social Sciences industry researcher Feitao said that the funds are planned to be put in use only after the companies go bankrupt and settle their debts.
In 2015, China's economy increased 6.9% and the government aims to achieve economic 6.5-7% growth in 2016.
The contribution from the country's services sector to gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 also rose to 50.5%.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the number of employed people in the country at the end of 2015 was 774.51 million, and in urban areas, it stood at 404.10 million.
Image: China plans to lay off 1.3 million workers in the coal sector. Photo: courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.