Step toward good governance

Updated: 2014-07-19 06:47

By Zhu Yuan (China Daily)

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Reform of government vehicle use will go a long way in changing officials' mentality and building a clean and honest administration

The reform of government vehicle usage should usher in more changes for clean and honest governance.

Step toward good governance

It is important to reform the vehicle-use mechanism in order to prevent waste of public money. The estimated nationwide expenditure on government vehicles is about 300 billion yuan ($48.37 billion) a year, and the operational reform plan announced early this week is expected to save half of that amount if implemented in letter and spirit.

The vehicle use reform was first proposed two decades ago, but vested interests have thwarted all attempts to carry it out, showing how strong the resistance from those who benefit from waste of public money is. It is not easy for the country's top leadership to set a timetable for such a reform, especially because it has to be carried out at all levels of governments.

But the intensified crackdown on corruption and the conviction of or investigations against dozens of officials at or above the ministerial level have paved the way for the implementation of the reform.

With specific details about how much money an official at a particular level should get as transport allowance, without getting to use an official car, the reform is aimed at preventing the majority of officials from enjoying privileges they are not entitled to. If the reform is strictly implemented, its significance will extend far beyond just saving money and scrapping officials' extra privileges.

Despite the slogan "serve the people" being on the lips of almost all officials at all levels at all times, some just do not really consider themselves public servants, whose real job is to meet people's needs without bothering about their powers and privileges. This is not to say that officials want to enjoy all the extra privileges or chart a plan to climb up the hierarchy ladder right from the first day of their job.

But the closer an official gets to the position he/she has been longing for, the more he/she will covet the associated privileges such as getting a personal secretary, an official car and enjoying the other trappings that their posts entail.

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