China audit finds $38 billion in misused funds

Beijing, Dec 29 (IANS) China’s top auditing panel has found 250 billion yuan ($38 billion) in misused funds, with analysts saying the anti-graft campaign will pick up in 2016, a media report said on Tuesday.

Liu Jiayi, head of the National Audit Office (NAO), said at the national auditing work conference on Monday that the NAO conducted audits on more than 20,000 officials, and found misused funds of more than 250 billion yuan, the Global Times reported.

Liu said NAO had handed over 321 officials and related staff to judicial and discipline inspection authorities.

Audit authorities have been promoting the efficient use of funds, the smooth implementation of projects and identifying malpractices, said Liu, adding that authorities have audited 700,000 companies or institutions and retrieved over 1.7 trillion yuan.

“The top auditor has played an important role in cracking down on corruption. And the Party strengthened its anti-graft campaign in 2015 by arresting corrupt officials and punishing them,” Deng Lianfan, an anti-corruption expert, said.

In 2015, more than 30 ministerial level officials from 31 provinces were placed under investigation for violating Party disciplines, and the anti-corruption campaign expanded to other branches, including the military, judicial departments, State-owned enterprises and regulatory agencies.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) began a new round of investigations into major State-owned enterprises in November 2014, and dozens of senior officials in the petrochemical, coal and telecom sectors have been probed.

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