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Tofu projects in China (5)

(China Daily)

09:08, October 24, 2011

Feathers in their caps

Under the ancient tradition, the more splendid and huge a public works project was, the more praise would be given to the local official who was in charge. Even today, officials take anniversaries of important events or holidays as good chances to display their abilities and achievements to the top bosses, in hope of getting more opportunities to be promoted.

"As long as they can present more big projects within their own term of office, which is generally five years, these projects will become their achievements in the region that help them win high marks from upper level or even central government," Liu said.

And if these projects later require countless repair or cost a person's life? That is the responsibility of the next leader in charge and has nothing to do with the former leader at all.

"Not all the top leaders of a region hold engineering degrees from universities," said Zhou, the law professor. "How could the standards of construction quality, construction period and when to put the project into use be decided by them, and not professionals?

Accountability

Zhou also warned that it's time to call off the gift projects, or China may face more losses and accidents like the high-fatality train crash.

"The central government needs to set up project quality responsibility on a life tenure tracing system, which clearly defines the responsibilities of the government leader in charge and the construction team leader. If a project develops serious quality problem or accidents due to quality problems, no matter where the major leader is, he or she still needs to be given criminal sanctions and administrative responsibility," Zhou said.

"The central government calls for a scientific concept of development, but the concept changed flavor to pursue only fast development of the economy at some places. Local officials in charge of enforcement forgot high quality requirements," Zhou said.

Zhao Jian, professor of economics at Beijing Jiaotong University, said that fines and other punishments are too puny to deter violations. To get officials' attention, he said, "The central government should greatly enhance the punishing penalties, strictly solve a batch of big cases and punish the people in charge."


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Canada at 2011-10-2570.36.49.*
"In a mature society ruled by law, even the budget is considered as law, so leaders and government workers are very limited in the decisions they can make" - misunderstanding of how it works.
  

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