Opinion / Opinion Line

Deducting wage for trees voluntarily

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-06 08:00

Deducting wage for trees voluntarily

Candidates review before the civil servant recruitment exam of Jiangsu Province at Nanjing Forestry University in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu province, March 22, 2015. More than 190,000 candidates here will compete for 5,872 positions this year. [Photo by Liu Jianhua/Xinhua]

TEN PERCENT of the monthly wage of civil servants in poverty-stricken Lintao county in Gansu province, Northwest China, is being deducted to subsidize tree planting in the county. Xinhua Daily Telegraph commented on Tuesday:

As a county in severe poverty, the local government is faced with the dilemma of having the obligation to plant trees while lacking the funds to do so.

In order to fulfill this obligation, it has been deducting money from its employees' wages for the last three years, and reportedly it has collected 13.8 million yuan ($2 million) in total. That is not a small sum of money, and if there are any procedural loopholes, it is likely that corruption will happen.

And the practice puts the obligation for funding the county's reforestation program upon local government employees. This is not only unfair, it also nurtures animosity toward the tree planting and green projects, which is not conducive to the promotion of raising environmental protection awareness among local residents.

Even though it is being done for a good intention, such money shouldn't be deducted from civil servants' wages unless they give their consent.

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