July 12th, 2012 | Global Times Govts, SOEs seen as most extravagant
Government officials and those working for State-owned monopolies are viewed as the country’s most extravagant groups, whose squandering of the public purse is eroding public confidence in government, an independent opinion poll revealed Tuesday.
About 71 percent of 2,004 respondents in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou said in telephone interviews that they believe “extravagance persists even though China remains a developing nation,” according to a survey by the Guangzhou Public Opinion Research Center.
About 39 percent of respondents consider officials with government departments the most extravagant, while another 24 percent believe managers of large State-owned monopolies are the most extravagant.
“The poll reflects the public’s negative impression of some governments,” said Cai Xia, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
As many as 90 percent of respondents believe that only when officials clean up their conduct will the extravagance be brought under control.
Some 74 percent of respondents think the most effective way to curb wasteful behavior is to have more controls on government spending, and more than half believe that media exposure is the most effective.
In response to recent public criticisms, authorities are tightening spending on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips, also known as “the three public consumptions.” New budget controls will devise stricter spending criteria and publicize expenditures.
“The key to the problem is to enforcement of these policies,” said Cai, adding that extravagant spending could damage the public trust, which is vital for the governing party.
Lax supervision and incomplete institutional structures have also resulted in extravagant spending in some large SOEs, Liu Zonghong, at the Party School of the CPC Shanghai municipal committee, said.
“The extravagant spending of these enterprises affects the image of the government, as most people will blame officials for their inefficient supervision,” said Liu.
By 2011, China’s annual consumption of luxury goods, excluding the private planes, yachts and limousines, reached $12.6 billion, accounting for 28 percent of the global market.
The net income per capita of the rural residents was 6,977 yuan ($1,095) in 2011, official statistics show.
By Ling Yuhuan