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Xi's appeal to curb waste gets warm response (2)

By Zhao Lei  (China Daily)

09:10, January 30, 2013

The situation has gradually changed.

Organizers of the two sessions in Beijing abandoned a long-followed practice of decorating meeting venues with banners and flowers and provided simpler dishes to representatives.

Wang Hongzhong, a deputy to the capital's people's congress and a district chief, said the refreshing atmosphere relieves officials from some unnecessary routines.

"Previously, we, the grassroots officials, would be very busy coping with various kinds of visits or meetings before Spring Festival, but this year we are freed from these troubles," he said. "Without those unnecessary formalities, officials can save more time and use it for their work."

"My bureau has made a rule stipulating that no alcohol should be served at bureau's dinners, and bureau officials must not attend banquets in restaurants when conducting inspections," said Qi Jing'an, director of Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

"We've paid more attention to handling the district's officials who are found wasting food or other resources at their work," said Li Yueqi, a deputy to Shanghai Municipal People's Congress and the chief of the city's Jinshan district.

Li added that the district government has asked all legislators and political advisers from the district to take public transportation, instead of using official vehicles, to their meeting venues when attending the two sessions.

Discipline watchdogs in Shanghai will send supervisors or plainclothes inspectors to check whether government departments have put an end to extravagant behaviors, according to Xinhua.

Members of the public said Xi's words represent their consensus and wishes.

"Some officials spent more than 10,000 yuan ($1,600) on a meal to have a feeling of being wealthy, while others wasted almost half of their banquet out of ostentation. These phenomena are most loathed by the public," said Li Ji, a 30-year-old Beijing resident.

"It is easy to talk about changes but hard to adopt them. My concern is whether those officials who enjoy extravagant banquets or lavish ceremonies can change their habits instead of coming up with tricks to circumvent public scrutiny," said a netizen in Hunan province with the username Pingzier115.

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