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County gov't collects money by force in E China

(Chinadaily.com.cn)

14:58, April 23, 2012

Recently, staff at government units and institutions of Liangshan county in East China's Shandong province were mandatorily asked by county authorities to buy a financial product, China National Radio reported.

Many have already paid under pressure from their superiors after receiving a notification in the name of the County Workers' Union in late March.

Mr Li, a local primary school teacher, was asked to buy the 10,000 yuan product "voluntarily" by his school master. The product is equivalent to half his yearly salary. If he refuses to purchase, he will not be eligible for promotion and will be barred for three years from outstanding employee elections. The financial product has created an economic burden for his family.

One staff member at the local education bureau said not only teachers but also staff members at other government institutions and units were asked to reach their purchasing targets.

The notification by the County Workers' Union wrote, "The total 200-million-yuan collected money will be used for the county's infrastructures, offering a buyer 10 percent annual profit in the coming three years." Some people questioned how the product will make 10 percent annual profit since it is only used for infrastructure.

Professor Tu Yonghong from the School of Finance, Renmin University said, "The authorities neither fully informed the product's risk nor established a risk management mechanism. Its mandatory money collecting may come under fraud suspicion."

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