China would ditch 76 pointless official – and sometimes obscure – awards to rein in waste and extravagance, Beijing said yesterday, as President Xi Jinping’s crusade against corruption gathers pace.
Government departments will, for example, not be able to award prizes for “excellent vocational education teaching materials” or for “administration in accordance with the law” for tax collectors.
“In recent years, many government departments… have been obsessed with these kinds of awards and evaluations and formalism has run rampant,” the central government said on its website.
“Not only has this not had the desired effect, it has been a waste of personnel and resources and even caused unhealthy tendencies, causing a strong reaction in society.”
A similar campaign in 2009 had resulted in annual savings of 6.4 billion yuan (R10.4bn), the government said, adding that “the cancelling of these 76 awards is just the first step, and the project will continue and deepen”.
Plaques marking these awards can be seen everywhere, from ministries to parks and subways, and are mostly for political rather than competitive reasons.
The new rules echo demands made of officials to simplify their lives and get closer to the people by Xi since he took over as Communist Party chief last November.
He has made cutting back on ostentation and waste a theme of his administration, seeking to assuage anger over corruption and restore faith in the party. – Reuters