Since 1949 the workings of the Chinese government have been closed off to its citizens. The secretive barriers were strongest when it came to expenditure reports, what we call the national budget.
Well, according to the Asia Times it’s about to change.
Baimiao, a small town in the southern province ofSichuan, released its budget in January under what it calls principles of “naked government”. Like being the first to skinny dip, another budget followed suit and shed it’s burqa in March, this time Guandong province.
Perhaps the grossest misappropriation of funds in China is rumored to be flouted by party officials. Every large-scale business is mandated to house a party official to keep operations and message in line with the party. It’s a full time job. But what has occurred in recent years, is troupes of officials who show up to work at 10am, smoke and drink tea all day, and whenever they feel like it… play a bit of ping pong.
The principles of what the Chinese call, naked government, have proven that the subsidies for government officials take up a rididculous part of the pie.
In Baimiao, “65% of local government spending went to accommodating and entertaining officials,” said Asia Times.
In a strong turn, government officials are embarrassed and are expected to cut down on smokes and drinks in next year’s budget.
It might be a long time before the NATIONAL budget is submitted for public viewing, but like everywhere in China, it’s a start.