497 officials retract stakes in coal mines
The state work safety watchdog announced Monday that 497 officials have withdrawn their investment in coal mines amid a nationwide crackdown.
Li Yizhong, director of the National Bureau of Production Safety Supervision and Administration, said that the figures represent only part of the campaign outcome based on the reports from nine provinces including Guizhou, Hunan and Hebei.
A final report of nationwide data will be released by mid-October, said Li.
China issued a circular on August 30 requiring all officials who invested in coal mines to retract stakes, setting September 22 as the deadline.
The circular said if the officials refuse to withdraw the illegal investment, they will be removed from their post.
Among the 497 officials who have followed the state instruction,325 are government officials and 172 are company officials in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), said Li.
Collusion between mine owners and officials are to blame for the frequent
coal mine accidents in China, said industry insiders. Some coal mines are owned,
or partly-owned by local officials. Therefore, these mines always escape from
inspection and become black holes devouring miner's lives.