October 5th, 2007 03:57 EST
200,000 Chinese officials punished over 4 years
China punished 207,214 officials in the countryside for breaking laws and regulations from 2003 to June this year, according to the Ministry of Supervision and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Only in the first six months this year, 671 rural officials were facing criminal charges while 10,822 were disciplined, the ministry and the commission said.
The CCDI said it launched several campaigns in the past four years against misuse of subsidies to farmers, random fines and fees imposed on rural residents, land use contracts that harm farmers' interests and overspending in infrastructure development.
As part of the efforts to create clean administrations in rural areas, accounting management has been handed over by village committees in most part of China to independent accounting service centers to avoid malpractice, according to the Ministry of Supervision.
Meanwhile, villagers have taken bigger part in decision-making while every official in village committees will be audited after finishing his term, the ministry said.
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