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Booze ban could save billions

CHINA should ban government officials from drinking alcohol at lunch on work days, an act that might cut government costs by as much as 100 billion yuan (US$14.62 billion) each year, a political adviser has suggested.

Chen Shiqiang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and president of Henan Hongchang Group, said he has lobbied 27 CPPCC members to jointly propose the ban, Information Times reported yesterday. There are a total of 2,237 political advisers to the annual session of the country's top political advisory body.

Chen estimated a national ban on officials charging alcohol to their expense accounts would save local governments 100 billion yuan each year.

The proposal has sparked debate online. While many Netizens agreed that a booze ban would help save money, some were worried officials might shift their drinking to the evening dinners, which are on public expenses.

In 2007, Xinyang, a city in Henan Province, where Chen's group is based, introduced a ban on government workers from alcohol drinking during workdays.


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