Chinese Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng's pledge to crack down on accounting falsification in his budget report has received echoes from among legislators and advisors at their annual gathering here.
"Xiang's statement is an indication of the government's intention to take a harsher stance on the issue," said Zhao Yu, a legislator from Yunnan Province in southwest China.
"Strengthening the accounting sector and striking hard on accounting cheat is of great significance to the straightening of the market order and the healthy development of the market economy," said Zhao, also head of the finance department of the Yunnan provincial government.
In his budget report to the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng said the government will "strengthen the accounting sector according to law and sternly crack down on accounting falsification."
Accounting firms which are found guilty of serious violation of laws and regulations and of falsification will be resolutely closed down, the minister said.
China now 120,000 certified public accountants, including 52,000 actually engaged in the industry. The number of accounting firms stands at 4,446.
In the first half of 2001 alone, there were over 100 accounting firms and more than 400 certified accountants published for malpractice of varying degrees, according to investigation by Wu Yijian, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the country's top advisory body.
"This shows how far those engaged in accounting cheat have gone, and it's high time to do something," advisor Wu said.
(People's Daily March 9, 2002)