China’s anti-graft campaign targets poverty relief

Beijing, March 15 (IANS) China’s anti-corruption campaign will include a new focus this year cracking down on the misuse and embezzlement of poverty relief funds, a media report said on Tuesday.

The five-year drive is aimed at ensuring the poverty alleviation policy and special funding will benefit poor people in poverty-stricken areas, Cao Jianming, prosecutor-general at the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), told China Daily.

This campaign has been launched by the SPP and the Poverty Relief Office under the State Council.

Prosecuting departments will focus on investigating graft issues that involve exporting laboUr services, ecological protection, education and medical insurance, as well as minimum rural living allowances, Cao said.

They will also become “more aggressive” in going after officials at grassroots levels, such as those in charge of handling traffic in rural areas, hydropower, electric power infrastructure construction, and renovation of rural homes.

The campaign comes after a keynote speech by President Xi Jinping at an anti-graft meeting in January, during which he promised to maintain the momentum at grassroots level to benefit everyone.

In October 2015, China set a goal of building a well-off society and lifting all poverty-stricken people in rural areas out of poverty by 2020.

China still has 200 million people living in poverty, based on the World Bank standard, which means they each live on less than $1.90 a day.

In 2014, the central government allocated 43.3 billion yuan ($6 billion) for poverty relief, double the amount in 2010.

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