China removes phantom staff, government vehicles to cut spending


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A police officer patrols Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. A police officer patrols Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.
The Chinese government removed staff who receive salaries without working and cut government car use amid an austerity drive by President Xi Jinping.
A total of 162,629 so-called “phantom employees” have been cleared out of central and provincial governments, state-controlled financial companies and universities as of Sept. 25, the official People’s Daily reported yesterday. The country also disposed of 114,418 vehicles, about 95 percent of a planned cut, it said in a separate report.
The moves build on Xi’s broader anti-graft campaign to crack down on the abuse of power by officials after he became head of the Communist Party in November, 2012. Central government agencies cut their fleet by 37 percent last year, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Ministry of Supervision. Xi’s government also cut spending on business travel and entertainment.
Chinese Communist Party cadres and government officials ranked below vice minister were given monthly allowances of 500 yuan ($81) to 1,300 yuan in lieu of government vehicles, the official Xinhua News Agency reported July 16.

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