Chinese lawmakers highlight budgetary transparency, oversight
                 English.news.cn | 2014-04-23 23:19:57 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Senior Chinese lawmakers on Wednesday stressed the need to enhance transparency and oversight of the country's budget systems when discussing a draft revision to the budget law.

Members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) held panel discussions about the draft revision, which was tabled for a third reading at the committee's bimonthly session this week.

The 94-page draft revision proposes that central and local governments as well as their subordinate departments make public their budgetary documents within 20 days of them being approved by corresponding authorities.

Government procurement of goods, projects and services using fiscal funds will also be subject to public disclosure if the bill is passed.

Senior lawmakers agreed that the new draft revision represented a step forward in making China's budgeting more transparent, and proposed stepping up the NPC's oversight over governments' budgets at both central and local levels.

"Power without oversight will inevitably lead to corruption," said NPC deputy Ren Maodong.

He added that budgeting should be conducted in a more detailed and transparent manner, in order to safeguard the public's right to be informed.

Zhao Wanping, also a member of the NPC, said the budgets should be presented in a fashion that is easier to understand for the public.

"I came to Beijing for the annual parliamentary sessions in March, and of all the reports I had to review, the budget report was the most difficult one to understand," he said.

Meanwhile, legislators also called for caution in allowing local governments to issue independent bonds, which is a key feature of the new draft budget law revision.

A "firewall" should be established and the scale of bond issuance should be brought under strict control, said Gu Shengzu, another NPC deputy.

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