China mulls rules for gov't building ban
BEIJING, June 26 -- China has begun soliciting public opinions on a draft updated regulation aiming to curb the construction of illegal government buildings amid a national frugality campaign.
A temporary regulation on managing government buildings has been in place for 26 years but falls short of the central government's current requirements as a five-year ban on the construction of new government buildings was tabled in 2013.
The renewed draft of this regulation, as publicized on Wednesday by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, China's Cabinet, stipulates that government office construction projects must be accompanied by feasibility reports and design blueprints, and they must be officially approved before construction can begin.
As for funding, the draft bans any form of loans from financial institutes, sponsorships and fund-raising.
"Buildings with reception functions such as accommodation, meetings and banquets, including those in the name of 'training centers,' are off limits," it said.
Lavish government office compounds have been pivotal for local officials to showcase their pride and take in counterparts who usually visit in the name of business trips or attending training courses.
According to the draft rules, officials and departments involved in illegal construction projects will be named and shamed, and those in serious cases will be held criminally responsible. Projects will be halted and the buildings in question will be evacuated and confiscated.
The draft also urges supervision, finance, land, construction, auditing and other related departments to jointly supervise government building projects, and units with the power to okay such construction should publicize project information to the public on a regular basis.