Aid funds appropriated for reconstruction in a county in northwest China hit hard by a 2008 earthquake were still not available on Thursday, although several local officials have been punished for mishandling quake relief funds.
The government of Wenxian county, Gansu province, was suspected of intercepting more than 80 million yuan (US$12 million) granted by the central government for the relief of victims of the 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan earthquake, which mainly devastated Sichuan province but also killed 93 people in Wenxian and left thousands homeless.
A local factory owner approached by China Daily on Thursday said he had almost lost hope of receiving finance after waiting more than two years for the government to honor its promise to fund reconstruction of his property.
"Nobody from the government has contacted us about the funds yet since the media revelations (about the interception of the relief funds)," Liu Kangping, director of the Longjiang Silicon Industry Co, said.
He told China Daily on Monday that the factory lost assets worth more than 20 million yuan in the earthquake, which caused about 87,000 dead or missing across China. He said he was desperate for the funds because his workshops were still in ruins.
"I don't care about the money any more," he said on Thursday.
As of Wednesday, eight local Party or government officials in Wenxian had received penalties ranging from suspension of duty to removal from their posts for mishandling quake relief, an official of the Party committee of Longnan city that administers the county told the Xinhua News Agency on Thursday.