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Political advisors take aim at fiscal misuse
Latest Updated by 2006-03-06 17:38:49
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NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2006

 GD Provincial People's Congress & CPPCC annual Sessions

Chinese political advisors have appealed for a clamp down on the misuse of government money as overspending is gobbling up too much tax payers' contribution.

 

Governments at all levels spent at least 1 trillion yuan (125 billion U.S. dollars) in dining and building grand offices in 2005, about 30 percent of the 3.16-trillion-yuan national revenue, said Huang Wenzai, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top advisory body, citing media reports.

 

According to the National Audit Office, 290 billion yuan (about 36.7 billion U.S. dollars) was lavished by government organs at all levels in 2005, about 10 percent of the national fiscal income, Huang revealed in his proposal to the ongoing CPPCC session, saying the figure would be more astonishing taking into account the improperly used sum.

 

In his proposal, the advisor suggested the enactment of a supervision law on government spending, and political, administrative or even criminal punishment on officials who waste public funds.

 

The auditing departments subordinate to the government should be affiliated to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's legislature, Huang proposed, and a special NPC auditing commission should be set up to monitor the expenditure of public funds.

 

He also called for the launch of a tax payers' day, when tax users are obliged to respond to the inquiries by the payers. The public should be always welcome to report to the auditing commission on any extravagance and waste case.

 

Ren Yuling, another advisor attending the session, also expressed serious concern about China's hiking spending on administrative affairs.

 

The volume of administrative expenditure has increased by 87 times since 1978, when China adopted the reform and opening-up policy, according to Ren's proposal on maintaining hard working and frugality among members of the Communist Party of China.

 

The volume, growing at an annual rate of 23 percent in recent years, accounted for about 19 percent of the national fiscal expenditure in 2003, much higher than the 9.9 percent in the United States and 2.38 percent in Japan, according to Ren's report.

 

The advisor called for curtailing administrative spending budget, reducing unnecessary official conferences and forums, confining financial privileges of senior leaders, and reinforcing fiscal supervision.

 

"Government and Party organs should take the lead in saving money for better financing the development of the health care mechanism, education and rural regions," Ren said.

 

"Legal actions should also be adopted to control rampant food waste, which runs counter to the drive of building a resources-saving society initiated by the Chinese leadership," said Yu Xiaowen, a CPPCC National Committee member from Shaanxi Province in Northwest China.

 

Yu put forward proposals on reining in food waste in restaurants, citing the statistics that Shaanxi wastes about 5,000 tons of food every day, and Shanghai throws away 1,100 tons a day.

 

In the southern province of Hainan, food waste is equal to 1.3 billion yuan (165 million U.S. dollars) in 2004, approximately the same cost of 650 school buildings and the amount of tuition fee for 32,500 needy undergraduates.

 

Yu proposed the enactment of an anti-squander law, which includes measures of imposing tax on food waste, reducing excessive food packing, and encouraging people to take away leftovers.

 

The advisor also called for the crackdown on dining with government money and a campaign in restaurants to persuade customers not to over order and to take their leftovers home.

 

A recent survey revealed that 81 percent of Chinese diners cannot finish all their food and 28 percent never take their leftovers home.

 

China is resolved to manage expenses and be economical by efforts including holding down expenses for meetings, receptions and official car use, and taking effective measures to control the number of unnecessary forums, celebrations, and international conferences, according to a report on the draft budget for 2006 distributed by the Ministry of Finance at the ongoing NPC annual session.

 

"We will promote performance evaluations, oppose waste, extravagance and frivolous squandering of funds, and promote the building of an economical society," according to the report, whichis being examined by legislators.

 

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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