Premier orders departments to release budgets

08:41, May 05, 2011      

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Beijing has vowed to increase transparency of its governance by making public details of central budgeting and spending, as it wants to build up a cleaner and more efficient government that connects better with the Chinese people.

The State Council, the cabinet headed by Premier Wen Jiabao, Wednesday pledged to increase both the "depth and width" of the cabinet's financial information that will be released for public consumption.

"The openness of financial budgets still falls short of people's expectations as some departments lag behind in making their budgets public and some information released is not detailed enough," read a statement released after a regular meeting of the State Council yesterday.

The statement said that all State Council ministries, departments and affiliated organizations must manage public funds appropriated to them in accordance with the law, make financial information public in wider areas and provide more details in content.

The Chinese public are particularly concerned with the government budgets and actual spending in paying for overseas trips, vehicle purchases and official receptions.

In China, some government officials used to buy luxury cars for their departments and use them for personal matters. They were also found to spend public funds to hold unnecessary celebrations, seminars and forums, which have caused widespread complaints.

According to the meeting, 98 central government departments and organizations should make their financial budgets public in the coming months, after their documents are approved by the National People's Congress, the legislature.

Meanwhile, the State Council has also vowed to increase efforts to encourage provincial governments to release their budgets and fiscal spending.

The Ministry of Science and Technology publicized its 2011 budget on April 14, becoming the first in the State Council to make public departmental financial books. The ministry budget said that it will spend 40.2 million yuan ($ 6.12 million) on overseas trips, vehicle purchases and official receptions this year.
By People's Daily Online
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