Opinion / Opinion Line

Officials exploit loophole to live high on the hog

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-25 07:25

Officials exploit loophole to live high on the hog

Wang Qishan (C), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, attends a meeting on anti-graft inspection in Beijing, capital of China, Feb 23, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

A publicity official in Baoshan district of Shuangyashan in Heilongjiang province, Northeast China, responded to reports that the district head had been using a counterfeit license plate on his car and had been drinking expensive liquor at official receptions, by saying he was fined for using the fake plate and was wining and dining on public money to attract investment. China Youth Daily commented on Wednesday:

Attracting investment has become a common excuse for officials to use public funds for their own entertainments. With the introduction of severe restrictions on spending public money, many places have banned officials from indulging in costly banquets. And, in August 2014, the government of Heilongjiang clearly specified no alcohol should be consumed by officials when dining on duty.

Although the introduction of these provisions has been welcomed and recognized by the public, as they have helped curb extravagance at the taxpayers' expense, some loopholes still exist for officials to exploit, such as allowing alcohol to be consumed when feasting with potential investors.

It is important to consider why such loopholes exist. In fact, luring investment has become a shield for some officials to eat and drink well using public funds. In the eyes of some officials, as long as it is in the name of the investment, they can enjoy a real treat.

Investment is important, but a clean and supportive government is the best way to attract it.

Most Viewed Today's Top News