Auditors Find Spending Problems in Sichuan Quake Funds
    2010-06-23 22:33:17     Xinhua      Web Editor: Sun Yang
 

About 40 billion yuan intended for relief operations after the devastating 2008 earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province was delayed or misused, auditors revealed Wednesday.

A National Audit Office (NAO) report blamed a lack of unified management for the problems after money flowed into quake zone after the disaster on May 12 two years ago.

By the end of last year, almost 5.2 billion yuan (763 million U.S. dollars) from the central government had been delayed, and 29.9 billion yuan was held up at local disaster-relief office level.

Another 5.8 billion yuan was misused for programs other than reconstruction projects, and some of the money was even used to repay local government's loans, the report said.

Some local governments obtained extra funds by falsifying their population numbers, which resulted in a loss about 240 million yuan, the report said.

Auditors also helped in quality control for 2,649 programs and speeded up the progress of 1,692 projects, saving 1.5 billion yuan in spending, the report said.

The NAO organized more than 8,000 auditors to supervise about 13,000 rebuilding programs, of which 60 percent were centrally funded and 80 percent were financed by local authorities.

Meanwhile, the report said no violations of spending had yet been found concerning funds sent to northwest Qinghai's Yushu Prefecture, which was hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on April 14 this year.

The findings were presented by Liu Jiayi, head of NAO in a report to the 15th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, on Wednesday.

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