"The volunteer spirit is noble, and volunteer funds should be established widely," said Deng Yaping, former table-tennis champion and deputy secretary of the China Communist Youth League Beijing Committee.
Deng was speaking at the International Forum on the Development of Volunteer Service held in Beijing on Thursday, Chinanews.com reported Friday.
"The volunteer should not be treated as cheap labor, since they not only have highly spiritual values, but also contribute a lot for our country's economy," Deng said. At present, the Beijing Municipal Government allocates 10 million yuan a year for the volunteer fund, she said.
According to Deng, the total number of working hours of the Beijing Olympics volunteers exceeded 200 million hours, saving the country about 4.2 billion yuan, according to the average hourly earnings of 21 yuan in 2008.