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Personnel, railway ministries misuse funds
Updated: 2004-11-19 00:38

Ongoing nationwide auditing campaigns stormed into two ministries and spotted misuse and misappropriation of budgetary funds.

Both the ministries of railways and personnel are found to have problems in their budget performances of last year, according to a circumstantial report released by the National Audit Office on its official website yesterday.

The Ministry of Railways was discovered to have illegally held 1.72 billion yuan (US$208 million) in 2003 in violation of China's Budget Law.

The office found the ministry applied for 23.88 billion yuan (US$2.9 billion) for railway construction in 2003, which was approved later by the Ministry of Finance.

However, the ministry reported using only 18.26 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) to the National Development and Reform Commission for the planned projects during the same period, 5.62 billion yuan (US$690 million) less than its budget.

This action violated the provisional method on railway construction funds issued by the Ministry of Finance, which stipulates that the Ministry of Railways should submit the budget report for audit after the projects were approved by the relevant ministries.

Meanwhile, the ministry allocated 22.16 billion yuan (US$2.7) to its subordinate units, detaining 1.72 billion yuan (US$208 million) by the end of the year.

This action failed to observe the Budget Law that dictates "expenditure of all ministries and departments comply with the budget."

Now aware of the problems, the ministry has submitted its budget report, adding 308 million yuan for project changes and appropriated the rest of the detained funds, the National Audit Office said.

Similarly, the Ministry of Personnel illegally used a budget surplus from the previous year, worth 930,000 yuan (US$112,500), to buy three automobiles in 2003, according to the office.

The ministry did not list the purchases in its budget, nor did it present a supplementary report before the end of last June, as required.

The ministry was also found to have misused nearly 4.5 million yuan (US$544,000) of surplus from infrastructure construction to buy 16 apartments for employees, which was also not included in its annual budget.

Malpractice of budgetary funds was also noted in the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Foreign Languages Publishing and Distribution Administration, according to the report.

All the mentioned government organizations have been informed to immediately rectify their problems.

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