92 Ministries and Commissions Released Their “Three Public Consumptions,” While the Hidden Coffers Remain Untold
Many Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ministries and
commissions recently released their 2011 final accounts and 2012 budgets,
along with their administrative expenses and
“three public consumptions.”
This is the second time CCP authorities have released the
“three public consumptions” data,
and the first time for individual ministries and commissions.
Economists have pointed out that the work units listed all
belong to central departments.
Thus, the data cannot reflect the real situation, because it is
known to all that the CCP has hidden coffers at each level of government.
After the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
examined and approved China’s 2011 final accounts on June 30,
the Treasury Department was required to reply within 20 days.
By July 19, 92 ministries and commissions have released
their final accounts and the “three public consumptions” on their official websites.
According to state-owned media, this is the second time that
budgets and final accounts of the “three public consumptions” have been released,
but the first time by individual ministries and commissions.
Xie Tian, professor at the University of South Carolina, said
that obviously the CCP has begun to release the “three public
consumptions” data under the pressure of public opinion.
But the ministries and commissions which have released their
consumptions are not the departments people are interested in.
Xie Tian: “The public is more interested in the Railways,
the Treasury, the National Broadcast & TV General Bureau, the Telecommunication Bureau, and the State Press…,
which are involved in more severe problems and
whose officials are more likely to make a fortune.
We all know that China’s local governments of all levels
have hidden coffers, so the real expenses are not reflected in official data.”
These so-called hidden coffers refer to public funds
which CCP officials of various levels are able to use at will.
According to a report by Voice of America, the amount of
capital in these hidden coffers is not small, in fact.
The balance can be in the thousands up to the millions.
The head chiefs of each level can spend the money from the
coffers in secret and without limit, to cover their “dissipated life expenses.”
Mr Zheng, economist in mainland China:
“The authorities know full well that people don’t trust them,
but they keep lying, usually from habit.
But this habit is not formed over a short period of time.”
Statistics show that nearly 60 thousand “hidden coffer” cases
of all level governments have been investigated and punished last year,
involving a total of 26.6 billion yuan ($4.17 billion)
and at least 170 thousand illegal vehicles.
The outside world believes that the released data
is only a tiny part of the widespread corruption.
Also, based on the 2011 final accounts and 2012 budgets,
many departments’ spending of public funds has increased.
For example, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
had its budget increased by 11.2 million yuan ($1.75 million),
the Chinese Academy of Sciences
by 17.69 million yuan ($2.77 million),
and the National Development and Reform Commission
by 9.08 million yuan ($1.4 million).
Among them, the budget for overseas trips increased drastically.
According to National Energy Board’s final accounts for 2011,
the expense for overseas trips was 6.68 million yuan ($1.04 million),
accounting for 88.52% of the total public consumptions.
Xie Tian said that everyone knows that CCP officials’
so-called overseas investigation is actually overseas traveling.
Xie Tian: “These officials come to the U.S., for example,
without knowing English and nobody will actually accommodate them.
90% of their schedule is for sight-seeing,
and hunting for good food and fun places.
They might go to a talk given by a related department someday
during their visit, and thats all it amounts to. This is well known to all.”
But Xie Tian also pointed out that Chinese people should
pay more attention to the money transferred overseas by those CCP officials and that is the biggest gap.
This is also the reason why the authorities don’t want to
release the personal income data of government officials.