Pay Roll Corruption Highlighted Among Booming Gov't Spending

Measures should be taken as soon as possible to stop the inflating pay rolls from nibbling away the government money, a political advisor urged in Beijing on the sideline of the ongoing annual session of China's top political advisory body.

Pay roll fabrication cases have been exposed in many government organs and institutions in China's vast midwest region, said Li Hanyu, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Initial investigations revealed that 37,000 people in southwest China's Sichuan Province have been boosting their salaries by taking paychecks for those who do not exist, which cost the government 64 million yuan (US$8 million) every year, Li said.

The scam, involving some 20,000 people in the central province of Henan, has engulfed 152 million yuan (US$19 million) of government funds so far, Li cited an investigation report as saying.

The volume of the national administrative expenditure has rocketed by 87 times as of 2003 since 1978, when China adopted there form and opening-up policy, according to advisor Ren Yuling, who had made a proposal on maintaining hard working and frugality among members of the Communist Party of China, to the ongoing CPPCC session.

However, the national revenue and the gross domestic product during the same period increased by 21 times and 31 times, respectively.

A large proportion of the government fund has been lavished on building luxury offices, unnecessary and extravagant conferences, sightseeing, and various excuses under the pretext of official affairs, said Ren.

It cost the state some 300 billion yuan (US$37.5 billion) to maintain 3.5 million official vehicles every year, CPPCC deputy Li Youwei said, quoting media sources.

The National Audit Office detected 35 billion yuan (US$4.4 billion) of government money that was illegally used in 2005.

Some CPPCC members have suggested the enactment of supervision laws on government spending, and administrative or even criminal punishment on officials who waste public funds so as to safeguard tax payers' rights and interests.

(XInhua News Agency March 10, 2006)


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