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Beijing to unveil Olympics budget in May
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Beijing is expected to publish its final operating budget for the August Olympic Games in May, with the costs likely below those of Athens Games four years ago.

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) is now making the second and also the last revision of the budget, said Liu Jingmin, executive vice president of BOCOG.

"The final budget needs to be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and will probably be unveiled in May," said Liu, who is attending the annual session of China's top political advisory body as a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

"The marketing campaign has come to a close, and the outlay of more than US$2 billion on the Games operation has been guaranteed basically," he said.

Beijing had initially planned a budget of US$1.609 billion to cover the costs of its bid for the 2008 Olympics, and later revised the budget by raising the figure to more than US$2 billions due to expenditure increase on tightening security and the appreciation of the yuan, Chinese currency.

But the figure still stays short of the US$2.4 billion budget for the Athens Olympics in 2004. BOCOG officials have said that the Chinese capital will spend less than Athens on holding the Games.

The Olympic host city can publish three editions of operating budget during the preparation period, according to IOC regulations, and it can make adjustments and revisions in line with changes of tasks and exchanges rates.

(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2008)

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