China starts 5-year ban on new gov’t buildings

First ostentatious spending, then came curtailment of banquets and now building construction. China is ratcheting up its austerity drive.  But one wonders if this is countering the efforts to re-vitalise the economy.

Xinhua: “Central authorities on Tuesday introduced a five-year ban on the construction of new government buildings as part of an ongoing frugality campaign.

Building construction

Building construction (Photo credit: Toban B.)

The General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued a directive that calls for an across-the-board halt to the construction of any new government buildings in the coming five years.

The ban also covers expensive structures built as training centers or hotels.

The directive said some departments and localities have built government office compounds in violation of regulations.

The directive called on all CPC and government bodies to be frugal and ensure that government funds and resources be spent on developing the economy and boosting the public’s well-being.

According to the directive, the construction, purchase, restoration or expansion of office compounds that is done in the guise of building repair or urban planning is strictly forbidden.

The directive also bans CPC and government organizations from receiving any form of construction sponsorship or donations, as well as collaborating with enterprises, in developing construction projects.

While allowing restoration projects for office buildings with dated facilities, the directive stresses that such projects must be exclusively aimed at erasing safety risks and restoring office functions.

According to the instruction, such projects must be approved first by related administrative departments and luxury interior decoration is prohibited, with criteria and spending to be set in accordance with local conditions.

The directive stipulates that expenditures on office building restoration should be included in CPC and government budgets.

According to the instruction, buildings with reception functions, such as those related to accommodation, meetings and catering, should not be restored.

The directive orders all CPC and government departments to rectify the misuse of office buildings, including those that are used for functions that have not been approved.

The directive says CPC and government officials with multiple posts should be each given only one office, while offices for those who have retired or taken leave should be returned in time.

Local authorities should establish or perfect the management of government buildings by strictly verifying the buildings’ size, according to the directive.

Departments that have moved to renovated or newly-built locations should transfer the original office blocks to government office administrators in a timely fashion, according to the directive.

Departments and units at all levels should address the office shortage caused by adding new institutions by themselves. If the additions do not meet their needs, government office administrators should adjust existing resources to solve the shortage, according to the directive.

Strict approval procedures are also required for renting new office blocks, according to the directive.

“Banning the building of new government buildings is important for building a clean government and also a requirement for boosting CPC-people ties and maintaining the image of the CPC and the government,” according to the circular.”

via China starts 5-year ban on new gov’t buildings – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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