China's State Council has ordered all central organs to use "economic, energy-saving, environment-friendly and domestic-brand" automobiles, and ban use official cars for private ends.
"All units should tighten the regulations of cars, cut down the size of the fleet within a controlled scale. The number of automobiles should not be increased unless a new department is formed," says a circular issued recently by the Government Office Administration of the State Council.
It orders all departments to remove cars either redundant or not up to the required emission standard before the end of the year.
The circular asks all government officials to "strictly abide by" the regulation on official use of cars, and "be the first" to use domestic-brand, low-emission, economic and manual-transmission cars.
"Except for special needs, all units, in principle, should not use off-road vehicles," it says, adding all departments are prohibited to buy cars themselves without sanction of superior authorities.
High-emission and heavy-pollution cars should be replaced before June 2008, the circular orders.
Government departments are also told to "boost car use efficiency, try to reduce the number of usage, better use public transport means outside Beijing, and stop to use official vehicles during festival time or when a large national event is held", according to the circular.
Official cars are forbidden to be used in private businesses or leased for commercial purposes to gain profit, the circular warns, adding borrowing or occupying cars of lower-level departments or other organs by virtue of of one's duty, or accepting cars donation from private enterprises, are strictly banned.
The circular asks all departments to standardize driving rules to enhance the saving of gasoline and try to reduce about 20 percent gas by the end of next year.
(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2007)