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People will not go short, Mayor says
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Shanghai residents will not go without power or food, despite the bad weather being forecast to make a comeback at the weekend, Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday.

Han, who won a second term as mayor at the close of the first session of the 13th Shanghai people's congress on Wednesday, said the government will also do its utmost to provide proper care for the tens of thousands of stranded migrant workers and students who have little prospect of leaving anytime soon.

"The Shanghai municipal government has taken and will keep taking various measures to ensure the safe operation of the city," he said.

"The supply of daily necessities will be maintained, and we will also ensure sufficient fuel supplies are transported to allow us to produce the energy the city needs.

"We are doing all we can to ensure the people of Shanghai enjoy a joyful and peaceful Spring Festival," he said.

"We are confident we have sufficient reserves of meat and egg products, and grains," Han said, although he was quick to add he is concerned the bad weather could lead to further food price hikes.

He also called on the people of Shanghai to save energy in a bid to help those people hardest hit by the snowstorms that have wreaked havoc across central and eastern regions.

In his first press conference since being reelected, Han promised to deliver a clean government, invite public supervision and make the use of public funds open and transparent.

"The first step is to improve the disclosure of government information," he said.

"We have made progress in the past but we should do more to disclose information on issues of public concern."

The government will put forward a series of measures to ensure openness and transparency with regard to the management of public funds, including revenue from the sale of land rights and car license plates, he said.

"The city's budget last year was 210 billion yuan ($29.2 billion). How that money was used and details of the decision-making processes must be made public," Han said.

The city will also take steps to make auditing results public, and disclose the decision-making processes behind policies that are of particular interest to the public, he said.

Further input from the public will be sought on the planned extension of the maglev rail line, once research has been completed, Han said.

"Opinions will be solicited on all major projects that have an impact on society."

On the environment, Han said the city will spend about 40 billion yuan on initiatives, involving reducing chemical oxygen demand and the desulfurization of power plants.

(China Daily February 1, 2008)

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