4.9 bln yuan for water conservancy misused in 2004, audit report says

China's National Audit Office (NAO) Tuesday revealed the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) and other departments and localities misused 4.9 billion yuan pertaining to water conservancy construction.

Of the total 71.64 billion yuan of funds audited by NAO, some 3. 5 billion yuan that should be used in water conservancy construction was reserved by MWR and 15 provinces, and the use of other 1.4 billion yuan infringed certain regulations, said the NAO report.

Among the 354 selective examined water conservancy construction projects, 109 are not completed on time and 21 were found to have serious quality problems, the report said.

By the end of 2003, MWR and other seven drainage area organizations had purposely reserved 1.385 billion yuan (167 million US dollars). And 15 provincial water conservancy organizations reserved 2.2 billion yuan (266 million US dollars). The combination of the two accounts for 11 percent of the total water construction fund in 2003.

In another sample inspection, the report found 25 out of 186 water projects have misused land for construction, in which 9 projects have delayed paying for land use and migrant workers, which amounted to 371 million yuan (44.8 million US dollars).

In order to clean up those heavily-polluted rivers including the Huaihe, Haihe and Liaohe, China has conducted 1,460 projects with 107.6 billion yuan (13 billion US dollars) of investment to these places.

The audit found 2.368 billion yuan's (28.6 million US dollars) of misused money, accounting for 6 percent of the total audited fund.

These figures were made public at the 16th session of the 10th National People's Congress Standing Committee, which opened Sunday.

One US dollar = 8.27 yuan

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online --- http://english.people.com.cn/