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Chinese county imposes liquor ban on civil servants

(Xinhua)

10:21, August 19, 2011

CHANGSHA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Yueyang County in central Hunan Province has become the latest local government to impose a liquor ban on civil servants.

The ban targets civil servants in both government departments and state-owned enterprises. Civil servants may face fines or job dismissals if they consume alcoholic beverages during working hours, according to the ban.

However, for special occasions, such as official banquets in honor of foreign guests or important investors, civil servants can request approval for the ban to be lifted, the circular stipulates.

The county government said the liquor ban aims to combat corruption, build an ethical government and improve work efficiency, and it has established a special office to deal with reports of violations. It has also opened a hotline and a mailbox for public tips.

After the first liquor ban appeared in Xinyang City of central Henan Province in 2007, a dozen cities followed, though some later revoked the ban.

Wang Tie, party chief of Xinyang, said earlier this year that its liquor ban has been in effect for four years and has not only helped save considerable amounts of government expenditures on dinner parties, but also led to positive changes in work efficiency.

But liquor companies are not happy about the ban, and Wang said they have repeatedly lobbied for it to be revoked.

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