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April 2, 2013

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Local budgets split on '3 consumptions'

NEARLY half of local government departments yesterday released their budgets for spending on overseas trips, receptions, and vehicles this year amid a nationwide effort to curb the "three public consumptions."

Sixteen local government bodies, including the city's human resources and social security authorities as well as the food safety watchdog, plan to cut spending on the "three public consumptions," the departments announced on their websites.

The city's cultural authority, financial service office and 15 other bureaus increased their budgets in that area, while the "public consumptions'' budgets of the other 14 departments remained unchanged.

So far, 45 government departments have released the spending, while other government bodies will release the numbers soon.

In 2012, the city's financial authorities asked a total of 90 government bodies to release the three public expenditures.

The city's Human Resources and Social Security Bureau cut the "consumptions" by the largest amount among all the departments. Its budget was cut by 9.3 percent, or about 2.5 million yuan (US$402,518), to about 26.2 million yuan this year, the bureau announced.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration will cut its spending by 10 percent or about 1.76 million yuan to about 17.3 million yuan. It has just been reorganized to have more powers by the government.

The Shanghai Administration of Cultural, Radio, Film & TV had the largest budget increase in raw numbers, by 1.3 million yuan to 9.3 million yuan, followed by the Financial Service Office that added to spending by 1.2 million yuan to 2.8 million yuan - a whopping 75 percent increase.

The 14 that kept ''consumptions'' budgets unchanged included urban planning, tax, traffic and harbor authorities.

China's government began disclosing bills of the "three public consumptions" in 2011 as the spending was often criticized as a source of corruption and waste. Officials said spending on the "three public consumptions" was 9.36 billion yuan in 2011 - 1.98 billion yuan for overseas trips, 5.92 billion yuan for vehicle purchases and maintenance and 1.47 billion yuan for receptions.


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