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8 disciplined in railway construction scandal

Updated: 2013-10-21 17:49
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Eight people have been given Party or administrative punishment in a scandal that involved high reception spending at a railway construction company, a discipline official said Monday.

The China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) admitted in March it spent 837 million yuan ($135 million) on receptions last year, leading to public outrage.

Investigations found spending on reception fees was generally in accordance with regulations. However, there were problems as invoices were unstandardized, reimbursements of expenses were not strict enough and accounting was inappropriately classified, said Qiang Weidong, who is in charge of disciplinary affairs of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

Authorities have punished those found violating laws and regulations at CRCC. A total of 57 people have been criticized, eight punished and one transferred to judicial authorities for prosecution, Qiang said during an interview with a website opened by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the anti-graft agency of the Communist Party of China.

He did not identify the individuals or what punishment they received.

The management of CRCC has taken measures to rectify problems and control costs, he said.

During the first half of 2013, the company reported a 20 percent drop in reception spending while its revenue grew 26 percent year on year, Qiang said.

"I think there will be no problem that annual reception fees drop 10 percent this year," he said.

As one of the world's largest construction companies, CRCC has over 2 million employees in more than 60 countries and regions.

Wang Qishan, secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, ordered that the case be dealt with severely. He asked supervisors to sign and endorse the investigation report so as to strengthen supervision and a sense of responsibility, Qiang said.

The method of endorsement should be promoted among disciplinary officials dispatched to supervise other centrally-administered state-owned companies, Qiang said.

In the first nine months of the year, 113 central state-owned enterprises saw their reception fees drop by about 37 percent year on year, he added.