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Poor quality relief grain investigation
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Grain Bureau of Xixiang County purchase relief grain from a small private factory

Hanzhong City, located in southwest Shaanxi Province, was seriously damaged by the May 12 earthquake. As a result, the Chinese government implemented a policy of giving 10 yuan and half a kilogram of grain to victims each day to ensure their survival.

However, some local government staff members were giving victims less than their allotted weight as well as working with a local vendor to mix the rations with poor quality grain.

Wang Anwu, director of the Grain Bureau for Xixiang County and Zhang Miyou, a division chief at the bureau, have both been suspended pending corruption investigation by the local Commission for Discipline Inspection (CDI).

On June 13, anonymous information on a web site shocked readers by revealing that the Xixiang County Grain Bureau was mixing the relief grain with poor quality grain and giving victims less than half a kilogram. In addition, the Xixiang County CDI had received many complaints that echoed these accusations.

Wang Huimin, the Xixiang County Grain Bureau's deputy director, said that officials at the bureau purchased 331,300 kilograms of grain from local Banqiao and Limin grain processing factories, which was then distributed to 23 villages.

He said he had no idea what quality grain the officials purchased because he was not a part of that transaction.

Wang Jisheng, a villager from Hualu, Baimianxia Township, received what was marked as a 10 kilogram bag of relief rice for his family. When he opened it, he found that some of the rice was moth-eaten and yellow in color, apparently being the rice of preceding years. Most of the bags only weigh 9 kilograms instead of 10.

Villagers said if one were to add up all the missing grain, it would amount to a large quantity.

The chief of the township said 224 villagers qualified for relief grain and money and that the first batch had already been distributed to them. In Xixiang, all together 5280 victims are entitled to receive relief grain and money for three months.

The Xixiang County CDI reported the relief rice complaints to the Hanzhong municipal government shortly after receiving them, and an investigation committee was created.

Wang Anwu and Zhang Miyou have both been suspended pending a corruption investigation. A CDI staff member said they would deal with the problem seriously.

The Hanzhong government purchased another batch of rice from a different government-approved company and sent it to Xixiang on June 19.

(China.org.cn by Wu Huanshu, June 20, 2008)

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