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China to step up audits of gov't spending, stimulus projects (12/29/08)

BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- China will step up audits of new projects, state-owned enterprises and financial institutions next year to make its macro-control measures more effective in fighting the financial crisis, the country's chief auditor said here on Monday.

"Our focus next year is to oversee the implementation of macro-control measures ... and guarantee their timeliness and effectiveness," Liu Jiayi, head of the National Audit Office (NAO),told an agency conference.

Auditors will focus on potential risks in government finance and "watch for possibilities that economic woes might lead to social unrest or even political problems," said Liu.

Money newly allocated to be spent late this year, part of a 4 trillion yuan (580 billion U.S. dollars) stimulus plan, will get special attention in 2009, he said.

The government added 100 billion yuan of investment to fourth-quarter spending to spur domestic economic growth.

Audit agencies will ensure investment in the new projects is properly used and focus on revealing extravagance, corruption and use in smokestack projects, said Liu.

He said more than 104,000 enterprises and agencies were audited from January to November.

He said 290 people, including 64 officials, had their cases referred to judicial or disciplinary agencies.

Another focus in 2009 would be to overseas investment by state-owned companies to make sure such investment is safe, while misjudgment and managerial problems that lead to state-owned asset losses will be revealed, Liu told the conference.

The NAO examined the impact of the global financial crisis on Chinese lenders and the economy in the second half of this year, said Liu, without disclosing the results.

He pledged to continue checking the asset quality and performance of financial institutions and helping them improve risk control.

 


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