Printers claim SOEs scrapping orders of gifts
Companies making calendars and greeting cards say they have seen a huge drop in orders after the Party\’s top discipline body banned officials spending public money on their products.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced the ban on Oct 31, forbidding Party organs, government departments, State-owned enterprises and public institutions from buying, printing, mailing and handing out New Year cards, postcards and calendars.
The move was seen as the latest attempt to promote frugality and curb extravagance among officials.
In recent years, local governments and institutions have bought, printed and given away a large number of cards and calendars at the Spring Festival holiday, the commission said, adding that as the materials have become more luxurious, the waste in public funds has become more serious.
On Oct 14, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission issued a notice saying the authority will strengthen supervision and inspection as well as strictly prohibit State-owned enterprises from buying, printing, mailing and giving away New Year cards.
While figures on the amount of public money spent on greeting cards, postcards and calendars every year are unavailable, a county official in Jiangxi province, who gave only her surname, Li, said her government purchases 40,000 New Year cards or postcards every year for about 5 yuan (80 cents) each.
While civil servants can each get 10 cards, some officials may ask for more than 150, she said.
\”Some cards are sent in the name of individuals, some are sent in the name of departments to higher level governments or officials,\” Li added.
Xinhua News Agency also quoted another county official in Central China as saying, \”the money used (in his county) to buy cards is more than 300,000 yuan, equivalent to the money needed to build a Hope Primary School\”.
There are more than 2,800 county-level administrative regions and more than 300 city-level administrative regions in China, as well as thousands of State-owned enterprises and public institutions.
The Bank of China\’s Zhejiang branch has scrapped a plan to purchase 73,900 wall calendars, 52,600 desk calendars and 26,000 postcards, Xinhua reported.
The ban, however, is potentially a disaster for companies that make postcards and calendars.
via Sales of postcards drop amid push for austerity |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn.