China Cuts Government Travel, Entertainment Budgets

China will cut spending on business travel, vehicles, and entertainment this year by 1.6 percent to 7.97 billion yuan ($1.29 billion) to crack down on wasteful expenditure, the Ministry of Finance said today.

The government spent 8.095 billion yuan on the items last year, according to a ministry statement today. Expenditure in these three areas was 9.346 billion yuan in 2011, the official Xinhua News Agency reported last June, citing then-Finance Minister Xie Xuren.

China’s plan to reduce spending follows a campaign by President Xi Jinping to reduce graft and crack down on extravagance at official events. The new head of China’s ruling Communist Party told fellow leaders last November that unless they address corruption, social unrest could increase and undermine the party’s legitimacy.

Spending for entertainment purposes would face the biggest cut with a drop of 64 million yuan, the ministry said in today’s statement. The government will also reduce its budget for official vehicles by 33 million yuan and trim spending on official travel by 29 million yuan, it said.

— With assistance by Liza Lin

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