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Officials Warned of Corruption Ahead of Holidays
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China on Saturday urged local officials to practice self-discipline and avoid corruption during the upcoming holiday periods.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China and the Ministry of Supervision issued a circular to Party organizations and governments, requesting enhanced awareness among officials and asking them to set an example to the public.

"All Party officials must have a healthy, civilized and thrifty New Year holiday and the Spring Festival, and economically arrange activities during the holidays," it says.

The circular bans officials from spending government money on visits, tours, banquets and other costly entertainment.

It also warns against taking bribes like cash and stocks, gambling and other means of collecting money such as weddings and funerals.

New Year and Spring Festival subsidies and bonuses are prohibited for civil servants, and parties and award ceremonies must be limited as well.

"Cadres must restrain themselves and educate their spouses, children and staff," it says.

The authorities also require local officials to care about people's living standards, especially those in poor and disaster-hit regions, and to try their best to solve issues of public concern.

"The allocation of disaster relief funds and materials, and unemployment and retirement benefits must be ensured and companies must pay delayed salaries to employees, especially migrant workers," says the circular.

Issues that provoke public complaints, including land seizures, re-allocation of reservoir residents, pollution and production safety, must be properly handled.

The governments must also enhance supervision of food and drug markets, production safety and crack down on counterfeit production.

However, no additional burdens can be passed on to the public and companies, especially farmers with additional fee impositions.

The circular also urged officials to identify and resolve unrest promptly, and to respond to public complaints and letters as a priority.

Financial and auditing departments must enhance management and supervision, and Party discipline officials must improve ties with the people, hear their voices and properly deal with corruption.

The Spring Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday when people celebrate the beginning of lunar new year and enjoy family reunions. It falls on Feb. 18 next year.

(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2006)

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