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Car spending attracts public outcry

A DISTRICT government's plan to cut budgets in an economy drive has instead drawn public attention to its huge expenses including the 60-million-yuan (US$8.78 million) it has spent on cars in the past three years.

The list was posted online at a forum on Cqnews.net, a local portal in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. The name of the district, in Chongqing, was pixillated.

According to the list, the district government spent 60.71 million yuan in the past three years buying cars: 16.93 million yuan in 2006, 20.97 million yuan in 2007 and 22.81 million yuan in 2008.

The cost this year will still hover around 20 million yuan despite the government's plan to cut the spending by 2.67 million yuan.

The list also showed the government spent 15.63 million yuan on power, water and oil in 2008 and 12.94 million yuan entertaining government officials last year.

Sending government officials on overseas trips cost 95,000 yuan in 2008, 72,000 yuan in 2007 and 99,000 yuan in 2006.

The government's total spending in the three years is not detailed.

Sources close to local governments confirmed to Cqnews.net that the list was accurate as the city government was cutting budgets among government departments.

The huge expenses sparked a public outcry from Netizens, with many advocating stricter public supervision of government departments.

"Mad speaker" said if the district government could spend such a large sum on cars, a city like Chongqing may well spend billions of yuan on cars.

"Dadaxu" said it is awful that government officials spend public money lavishly and it is bad that effective public supervision on government spending is lacking. It is sad that the public gets accustomed to such corruption, the Netizen commented.


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