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China tightens supervision of allowance issuance


08:53, August 01, 2013

BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- A new regulation targeting improper issuance of official allowances will take effect on Thursday, sounding a warning for those who abuse power to embezzle public money in receiving subsidies.

The government has released the regulation to punish officials who improperly hand out allowances, a kind of hidden or tacit corruption.

The rules, published July 12 on the Ministry of Supervision's website, were jointly promulgated by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Finance and the National Audit Office (NAO).

Officials responsible for misappropriating state-owned funds or funds for special use and granting them to individuals in the name of allowances will receive a serious demerit, while those involved in serious cases will be demoted or sacked, according to the Regulation on Punishments for Improperly Releasing Allowances.

Allowances include salaries, living subsidies and retirement funds, as well as bonuses.

The promulgation of the regulation shows that illicit issuance of allowances is rife in government departments and public institutions, said Zhou Hanhua of the Institute of Law at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The State Council, or cabinet, has long stressed prohibition of illicit issuance of allowances, but it has not been implemented well, added Prof. Zhu Lijia of the Chinese Academy of Governance.

"The financial systems of some government agencies are not open and transparent and lack effective supervision," Zhu said.

Nearly 600 million yuan (97.88 million U.S. dollars) of fiscal funds were not recorded in the government's fiscal system last year, he said, adding that allocating the money ultimately "depends on department leaders."

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