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China to punish officials for statistics fraud
( 2003-12-09 09:48) (Xinhua)

China is to hold officials guilty of statistical fraud accountable to the law, said a deputy head of China's top legislature.

He Luli, vice-chairwomen of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said Monday that government officials at all levels should be fully aware of the serious damaging effect of statistical fraud and act in a responsible way in statistics activities.

She said no officials are allowed to ask statistical agents to fake or change statistics and offenders would be held responsible according to the law.

She made the remarks at a seminar marking the 20th anniversary of the release of the Statistics Law.

Since it promulgated the law on Dec. 8, 1983, China has waged five nationwide inspections on the enforcement of the law. Over the past few years, China has dealt with over 10,000 cases of statistical frauds every year. In 2002, authorities investigated 18,300 cases of violations of the Statistics Law. Some 15,600 of the cases have been wrapped up.

Head of China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Li Deshui said some local officials did not realize that fiddling with statistics was against the law.

He Luli said the legislature would not hesitate to investigate and expose officials who seek political gains through twisting statistics to exaggerate their achievements.

She said China would continue to step up legislation on statistics.

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