China's Minister of Construction has warned that the country's real estate industry has become a hotbed for power-for-money deals.
"The industry suffers institutional loopholes in preventing and combating corruption, especially the collusion between government officials and businesses," said Wang Guangtao at a recent conference on building a clean and honest government.
"Some officials fail to discipline themselves and are living a decadent life by seeking illegal profits at the price of the general public's interests," Wang noted.
The ministry will stage special inspections on power-for-money deals this year and watch for malpractice in property transactions and real estate developments, he pledged.
It will also audit real estate development enterprises and inspect all property projects under construction to make sure all government officials embroiled with illegal deals would be punished in line with laws, he said.
Last year, 415 people in the construction sector were found to have breached either laws or the ruling Communist Party's disciplines. About 68 percent of them were in administrative departments.
From January to July of 2006, China's procurators analyzed 1,608 commercial bribery cases in the construction sector, 26.3 percent of the country's total commercial bribery cases for that period.
(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2007)