Posh buildings target of probe

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-05 06:58

A government office building in Puyang, Henan Province in this undated file photo. The county is one of the poverty-stricken counties in the country.
A thorough investigation has been ordered into government buildings constructed after 2005 and those under development after a recent scandal in which more than 20 officials were punished for constructing lavish official buildings.

The Central Commission of Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China Central Committee said the purpose of the probe was to ascertain if government buildings are excessive in terms of size, decor or facilities.

The government has set a limit of 4,000 yuan ($512) per square meter for the construction of ministerial level buildings.

The investigation will also target projects for which bank loans were obtained, money collected unofficially, donations sought illegally or funds misused, the CCDI said.

Local governments have until June 20 to report on buildings that contravene the regulations although the CCDI did not say whether officials would be treated leniently if they came forward voluntarily.

The central government issued a circular last month in response to public discontent, reiterating the ban on construction of wasteful and extravagant official buildings, including hotels and entertainment centers.

If the constructions violate government rules, they could be put up for auction, according to the circular.

Last week, the CCDI announced a list of officials in the country's less-developed inland provinces who had been sacked or demoted for wasting funds on the construction of lavish government buildings.

The government of Puyang County in Central China's Henan Province spent 32.84 million yuan ($4.21 million) on a new office building between 2002 and 2004, far exceeding the budget of 9.75 million yuan ($1.3 million).

County officials were found to have misappropriated 7.7 million yuan ($1 million) of pension funds and subsidies for laid-off workers; and collected 1.06 million yuan ($136,500) of unauthorized funds from subordinate units to make up for the extra spending.

In another case, the grain bureau of Shanxi Province misappropriated national grain reserve funds of 1.5 million yuan ($193,200) to construct a 6.9-million-yuan ($889,000) hotel project at a famous scenic spot in the province.


Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours