SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China plans to abolish temporary residence permits as part of a broader reform of the country's household registration system, the official Xinhua news agency reported, in a move that could boost consumer spending.
Citing a public security reform plan released on Sunday, Xinhua said that temporary permits for migrant workers will be replaced by permanent residency, which offers many of the same privileges as those enjoyed by locals, such as permission to buy flats and cars as well as social security.
Temporary permits are held by hundreds of millions of Chinese workers, who have to obtain the permits before they can live or work in a new city.
The system has been criticized for creating instability and China's leaders have pledged to loosen their grip on residence registration, known as hukou, to try to speed the country's urbanization drive.
The government is also keen to stem any further slowdown in the economy, which in 2014 recorded its weakest growth in 24 years.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by David Goodman)