BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Government employees in Nanjing will be suspended if they offer or accept gifts during Mid-Autumn Festival or the National Day holidays if the gifts are purchased with public funds, anti-corruption chiefs have warned.
Eight departments, including the public security bureau, will supervise officials’ activities during the holidays, the city commission for discipline inspection said in a statement on Sunday.
The graft watchdog also banned officials from attending banquets and sightseeing at public expense, as well as having lavish lifestyles.
Those who violate the rules will be suspended immediately, and their leaders will also be punished, the commission said.
The statement came after an announcement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China on Friday that warns officials from giving or accepting gifts that are paid for at public expense during holidays.
The central agency also released a phone number and website for whistle-blowers to report violations.
Mid-Autumn Festival, the 15th day of the eighth month on the Chinese lunar calendar, falls on Thursday this year. The National Day holiday runs from Oct 1 to 7 every year.
The Supreme People’s Court said on Sept 10 that courts nationwide should carry out strict checks on judicial officials during holidays.
Judicial officials are not allowed to accept gifts, including mooncakes; attend banquets thrown by litigants; nor collect money from celebrations such as weddings, the top court said.
Many local governments have forbidden officials from giving or accepting gifts during holidays.
Chen Lun, director of Jilin province’s commission for discipline inspection, said at a conference this month that his agency will send 11 teams to city governments to prevent officials from giving or accepting gifts during the holidays, Jilin Daily reported.
Supervisors will go to the hotels and restaurants to see whether officials are living it up at public expense; investigate markets to make sure that mooncakes are not being purchased with public funds; and check the accounts of government departments, Chen said.
The anti-corruption measures have caused the prices of many products that are usually chosen as gifts to decline, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The production of mooncakes at many companies in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region has dropped by 50 percent, and at some companies by 70 percent, He Yikui, deputy director of the region’s cookery and food association, was quoted as saying.
On Taobao, a popular online shopping website, prices of crabs have also dropped compared with previous years.
Wang Yukai, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that the declining price of mooncakes and other gifts reflects the impact of anti-graft measures.
Government officials have become more cautious in dealing with gift issues after the strict measures were put into place, he said.
(Source: China Daily)