BEIJING: The frugal campaign championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping continues into the New Year.
Effective Jan 1, government officials are banned from spending public funds on tourism, banquets, entertainment and fitness activities under the pretext of training programmes.
The measure, jointly released by the Finance Ministry, the Organisation Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the State Administration of Civil Service, strictly limits the expenses for each participant to 450 yuan (RM244.40) a day.
The sum covers accommodation, food, venue, trainer, training materials, transportation and others for domestic training courses shorter than three months.
Under the rules, the organisers are prohibited from purchasing new office equipment, such as computers, photocopy machines, printers and fax machines, with the funds allocated for the courses.
Luxury suites, extra toiletries, lavish cuisines, cigarettes and alcohol are also banned from training programmes.
Above all, the departments are encouraged to utilise information technology to promote self-learning among the staff.
This provision aims to cut down training costs and to increase training efficiency.
The measure is the latest move in the crackdown on corruption to improve the party’s public image.
The ruling party also rolled out a five-year anti-corruption plan in December, vowing to usher in clean governance and fight corruption.
In the document, the party stressed its pursuit of “tigers” and “flies”, referring to corrupt officers from high-ranking leaders to low bureaucrats.
“We will investigate those who have broken party or national law, regardless of their identities and ranks,” the statement said.
The jargonistic plan, to be enforced from now until 2017, reiterated the party’s intolerance towards corruption.
It included the slogan of “look in the mirror, straighten your attire, take a bath and seek remedies”, which refers to self-examination and improvement, and speaks against the four harmful working styles of formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.
The document also warned of serious probes into corruption behind mass incidents and major accidents and commercial bribery.
“The punishment for giving bribes will be more severe,” it said.
>The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.