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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 21:57, December 08, 2006
Chinese officials below vice minister banned from first-class travel
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Chinese officials below the rank of vice minister have been banned from flying first-class at public expense on business trips in a move to cut costs.

New regulations, issued by the Ministry of Fiance (MOF) and due to take effect from next year, raised the spending criteria and clarified the rankings for different levels of business travel.

The current criteria for central government offices and institutions were drawn up in the 1990s and needed to be updated, said Li Linchi, a senior official with the MOF.

The gap between the expense criteria and the "actual accommodation level" had led to confused accounting, making it a focus of both the public and the government.

The regulations classify transportation into first class or business class for planes; hard seats, cushioned seats, hard berth or sleeper berth for trains; and different classes for ships.

They vary according to the post and professional ranking system covering government officials and professionals such as engineers, economic administrators, researchers and certified doctors.

Officials who travel in a class higher than their entitlement should pay the difference out of their own pocket, according to the regulations.

The MOF has designated hotels around the country for official accommodation according to the procedures of government procurement, including tenders, competitive negotiations and price enquiries.

According to the regulations, airport fees and aviation accident insurance are both included in normal expenses.

The reform was intended to promote clean and honest government, said Liao Xiaojun, Vice Minister of Finance.

Source: Xinhua

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