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China boosts drive against wasteful expenditure
September 12, 2013, 8:46 am

Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping has made battling pervasive corruption a top theme of his administration [Getty Images]

In an effort to reduce “wasteful expenditure” of the state, 76 Chinese government awards and evaluation campaigns are being scrapped, the Chinese cabinet announced.

In 2009, the government scrapped a number of ceremonies resulting in savings of 6.35 billion yuan ($1.03 billion) of public funds each year, according to official data.

The statement said projects under the supervision of industry associations will no longer receive government funding.

“Not only has this not had the desired effect, it has been a huge waste of personnel and resources and has even caused unhealthy tendencies, causing a strong reaction in society,” said a statement on the official website.

Some of the scrapped “pointless” and “obscure” campaigns include prizes for “outstanding education portal website,” “excellent vocational education teaching materials,” and “excellent tourist destinations.”

Since assuming office, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made battling pervasive corruption a top theme of his administration in a country where 128 million people still live under the poverty line.

The termination of such projects is an important measure as China tries to streamline government roles and reduce government intervention into social issues, said Dong Keyong, Dean of the public administration and policy school of the Renmin University.

Such state programmes are now being seen as “burdens on grassroots governments, the private sector and public, as well as wasted public funds”.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said the reduction of such campaigns will help “alleviate such burdens and improve government work styles”.

The State Council also called for follow-up cuts in red tape and the delegation of government power to lower levels or social organisations.

In a bid to reduce bureaucratic delays, China’s central government has also reformed its administrative approval system this year, scrapping or relegating more than 200 approval rights, which were previously held by the government.

Source: Agencies