Frugal and efficient

Updated: 2014-02-27 07:19

(China Daily)

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This year's provincial and municipal "two sessions"-the local People's Congresses and committees of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference-concluded earlier this month. They followed a simpler blueprint than usual, as luxurious banquets were replaced by simple buffets, and practices such as sending gifts to deputies and offering them expensive hotel rooms, were less evident.

The more frugal work style adopted is the result of the country's new leadership's determination to curb the extravagance associated with public events, as well as its promotion of a pragmatic working style to raise efficiency, says a People's Daily commentary.

How the provincial two sessions are conducted is never a small matter, as both are held at the public expense to discuss public issues. And since a considerable number of representatives have social influence, their indulging in profligate behavior has a large and negative impact upon the whole of society. The wasteful extravagance aroused widespread anger.

That is why the new leaders issued a ban on luxurious public spending soon after they took up office. The fact that the two sessions at the provincial level insisted on frugal behavior this year illustrates how determined the Party's leaders are to curb excess at the very root.

Besides reducing the wasteful spending of public money, the two sessions have also cut unnecessary procedures to boost efficiency. The bulletins from many of the sessions show that the focus has been on the criticism and constructive advice offered by the deputies, and there has been less empty talk than in the past. With delegates more directly expressing opinions, the sessions have better fulfilled their role in discussing public affairs.

Many provinces and municipalities have issued electronic documents and accepted comments from representatives through new media. Also some provinces required representatives to use hotels within walking distance from the meeting halls, so as to minimize the pressure upon transportation.

Of course, to carry on this welcome trend in the long run, China needs to establish long-term mechanisms. The new leadership continues to issue regulations, and they are becoming increasingly detailed and strict. But only when the regulations are fully enforced, will the old wasteful practices be permanently replaced by a frugal and people-oriented working style.

(China Daily 02/27/2014 page8)