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Officials to be gauged on performances in disaster
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The performance of Party officials in China's snow disaster relief and restoration work will be scored and used as gauges for future promotion or dismissal of public posts, said a newly-issued circular.

The snow storms have posed a challenging test against the whole nation, but also lends itself to showcasing Party officials' management and ruling capacities, said the circular issued by the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

It said Party officials in snow-stricken areas will be scored for their performances in the disaster relief and restoration work. Their performances will be taken into consideration in future promotion or dismissal of their posts.

"Any Party official who derelicts his duties, or leaves his posts without permission during the snow storms will be severely punished," it stressed.

The circular urged all Party members to devote themselves to normalizing life and production in snow-hit provinces as early as possible.

The prolonged low temperatures, icy rain and heavy snow in the central and southern parts of China have so far left 107 people dead and eight missing. It has caused direct economic loss estimated at 111.1 billion yuan (about 15.4 billion U.S. dollars).

In all, 21 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have been affected. About 1.5 million people have been relocated, and 1.93 million were left stranded before finding transport.

The freak weather affected almost 24.4 million hectares of farmland and 18.6 million hectares of forests, leading to the collapse of about 354,000 houses.

(Xinhua News Agency February 20, 2008)

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