'The State advocates that one couple can give birth to two children', a draft amendment submitted for review at the bi-monthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee said, amid reports that not many of 100 million couples who could benefit from the new policy were interested to have a second child in view of growing costs of bringing up an additional kid.

The draft came after the Communist Party of China Central Committee decided in October to give the go ahead for the universal two-child rule, which will replace the decades-long 'one couple, one child' policy.

Li Bin, head of National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said the CPC's decision was made to adapt to the transition of China's population from young to old currently underway. In order to implement the decision, the top legislature must amend the family planning law which took effect in 2002.

Under the current law, citizens who marry late and delay childbearing may be entitled to longer nuptial and maternity leaves. Couples who volunteer to have only one child in their lifetime enjoy rewards. The articles were deleted in the draft, implying the new law will likely take effect on January 1, 2016.

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