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China to fight extravagant official celebrations

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-14 06:29

BEIJING - Authorities will make more efforts to halt extravagance in official banquets and punish those who organize such events, according to an official notice issued on Tuesday.

Official events must be frugal and event organizers must refrain from luxury, according to a notice jointly issued by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Culture, the National Audit Office and the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

No government funds should be used to hold commercial celebrations or pay for expensive entertainers, according to the notice.

Overly festive celebrations have damaged the image of the CPC and the government, as well as triggered public complaints, according to the notice.

The notice said local authorities must place importance on eliminating extravagance in accordance with rules introduced by the CPC since last year for the purpose of eliminating bureaucracy and extravagance.

"Down-to-earth efforts should be made to regulate official celebrations and achieve results in reversing the trend of pursuing luxury," it said.

Local CPC and government authorities should take the lead in discouraging expensive celebrations and cultural performances.

Authorities may not hold joint cultural celebrations or performances with enterprises or use their administrative power to force lower-level public institutions, enterprises or individuals to cover related expenditures, the notice said.

The notice called for enhanced media scrutiny over official celebrations, calling for more efforts to uncover improper practices related to such events.

The notice urged strengthened supervision and inspection of official celebrations, as well as greater budget control and strict auditing.

"Celebrations shall not be used as a chance to distribute gifts or high-value items," the notice said, warning against the practice of utilizing such events to obtain benefits for organizations or individuals.

Those who organize expensive or wasteful celebratory events will be severely punished, the notice said.

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