Monday, March 12, 2007

2007 NPC, CPPCC Journal, Day 8

Outspoken Comments

Government Squander has to be Stopped
China’s annual government administrative fees shouldered by each tax payer increased 23 times in 20 years, and officials’ squander should be blamed for it.

This is the remark made by Feng Peien, a CPPCC national committee member, on Monday during a CPPCC plenary. Mr. Feng said that in the 20 years from 1896 through 2005, the amount that every Chinese tax payer paid annually for government operations increased from 20.5 yuan to 498 yuan (about $2.5 to $62), while China’s per capital GDP increased just 14.6 times in the same time period.

Mr. Feng related such unusual increases in government spending with government squander, such as wasting public money on officials’ vehicles, dining and overseas visits, all kinds of government meetings, luxury office buildings and energy wastes.

To curb such lavishing of public resources, Mr. Feng proposed the establishment of an “anti-squander law.” Targeting at the causes for such wastes, he made other proposals, including having more information openness on government operation and holding public hearings on spending tax dollars.

Interesting Ideas and Proposals

Public Officials should Reveal Personal Finance
A National People's Congress delegate called on China’s public officials to reveal their personal financial information to the public, as a way of checking corruption.

“Government officials are public servants of the people, and what kind of personal assets they have should be hided from the people?” Mr. Wang Quanjie, a NPC delegate from Shandong, made the inquiry. “Citizens’ personal property is privacy, but that of tax-payer-supported government officials is not.”

Meanwhile, NPC delegates told the media that Chinese authorities are considering setting up a “clean government law,” although officials said no state legislation plans have been made for it.

Nevertheless, the idea is welcomed by the public, as demonstrated in comments in forum.

“I finally see the hope,” one comment reads, referring to the anti-corruption course that most Chinese people are concerned about.

Not everyone is optimistic, and some people doubt how much difference such a law can make. “The problem is not establishing a law, but enforcing it,” on person writes.

In a related move, a national corruption prevention bureau has gained the nod from the central government and is expected to be set up within this year, high-ranking officials in NPC and CPPCC told state media.
Online comments

China’s Commerce Minister Bo Xilia and Governor of the People’s Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan held a joint press conference on Monday and answered questions on China’s international trade, financial system and its reforms.

Full transcript of the press conference

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