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Corruption found in anti-poverty authorities

By Zhang Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-28 07:26

Nearly 400 government officials have been punished for embezzlement or misuse of poverty alleviation funds, the top anti-graft watchdog said on Sunday.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said 388 people in 20 provinces and regions, including Beijing and Shanxi and Fujian provinces had received administrative or criminal penalties.

All were officials with poverty alleviation authorities at the provincial, city or county level, and half were department directors, the CCDI said.

Of the 115 cases investigated, 68 involved abuses power, neglect of duty or embezzlement, which have "affected the progress and effectiveness of tackling poverty and seriously eroded the political foundation of the ruling of the Party", the agency said.

"Loopholes in the supervision mechanism, and the high number of anti-poverty projects and the huge funds involved have all contributed to the high incidences of such cases."

In recent years, a large amount of poverty relief funds have been embezzled or misused, seriously harming the public's vital interests and legitimate rights. This has also led to a series of petition cases, affecting social harmony and stability.

"We will make every effort to punish those who use their jobs to embezzle, hold back, falsely claim or squander the poverty alleviation funds," the CCDI said.

According to the anti-graft watchdog, as more funds were invested in poverty relief, some economic organizations took chances to pretend to be the poverty relief enterprises to embezzle those funds.

Additionally, some counties and villages set up poverty relief mutual aid cooperatives and through loopholes in the supervision, the funds were easily embezzled or misappropriated.

Even worse, some local officers have made random decisions to arrange projects or uses for poverty relief funds that are out of line with the practical situation at the grassroots, the CCDI said.

In a separate development, Mo Jiancheng, leader of the CCDI's inspection team stationed in the Ministry of Finance and a former Party member at the ministry, was placed under investigation for "serious violation of Party discipline", the CCDI said on Sunday.

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