Ban on new official buildings enforced

Updated: 2014-03-19 23:37

By XU WEI (China Daily)

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Exposure of unapproved projects welcomed in frugality campaign

The central government vowed on Wednesday to further push ahead with a ban on the construction of new government buildings as part of an ongoing frugality campaign.

So far, 147 officials have been investigated and 55 punished for violations, and supervision will be strengthened, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

The central authorities introduced a five-year ban in July on the construction of government buildings. But some local authorities ignored the rules, the statement said.

The central government will encourage the exposure of unapproved new government building projects and hold those officials accountable who failed to rectify the mistakes.

It will also increase supervision and inspection of public funds to prevent the money from being used to construct government buildings, according to the statement.

The executive meeting also discussed key tasks set by the central authorities this year in the Government Work Report approved during the annual session of the National People's Congress, the top legislature.

Pushing ahead with reforms on finance, taxation, State-owned enterprises and market entry and simplifying government approval procedures will remain the priority of the government this year, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, maintaining economic growth at a reasonable level and preventing risks to the economy are other key tasks. The government will try to create more jobs through multiple channels while keeping prices stable.

Increasing grain output and raising the income of farmers were also identified as major tasks.

Li urged officials on Wednesday to investigate recent cases in which a number of kindergartens were found to have given children unauthorized anti-viral drugs.

Such cases in some kindergartens in Hubei, Shaanxi and Jilin provinces were exposed by the media and later confirmed by local authorities.

Li called for government departments to tighten management of kindergartens, primary and middle schools to prevent similar cases from occurring.