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Cutting gov't expenditure
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The streamlining of meetings can realize a double saving for the government, says an article in Dahe Daily. The following is an excerpt:

To streamline meetings and reduce administrative expenses, the State Council put forward a series of suggestions including the number of meetings, the length of conferences and speeches, the number of participants, and the number of words in a document.

There is no need to hide the fact that many local governments have innumerable documents and meetings, which hamper the routine work of government officials.

What is more, tedious conferences cause an unnecessary waste of government money. Some governments also prepare expensive souvenirs for participants. Some civil servants travel and entertain themselves under the pretext of participating in conferences.

All these are cases of corruption. They adversely affect the image of the government and its staff and also arouse the dissatisfaction of the public. From this perspective, the streamlining of meetings also improves the image of the government.

In fact, quite a number of local governments have been equipped with facilities for videophone conferences and Internet video-conferences. These facilities should be used more frequently. It saves on expenditure. Since the central government has taken the lead in trimming conferences, local governments have no reason to refuse to follow suit.

(China Daily January 15, 2008)

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