Government and Policy

Beijing to tally cost of government vehicles

By Yan Jie (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-07 08:27
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BEIJING - The capital's municipal government will disclose how much it spends on purchases of official vehicles and related costs this year, said a senior city financial official.

Meng Jingwei, deputy director and spokesman for the city's finance bureau, made the comments in response to public criticism that the department had withheld the number of vehicles the municipal government owns.

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The finance bureau revealed in late March that the city government had 62,026 official vehicles as of the end of 2010.

"Not all of the official vehicles in Beijing are owned by the municipal government," said Meng.

Other vehicles belong to central government departments, the military, State-owned enterprises and other authorities, he added.

The municipal government does not know the exact number of those vehicles, said Meng.

In China, vehicles owned by State-owned enterprises are often described as official vehicles, while the finance bureau does not count these vehicles as municipal government vehicles.

Only vehicles using funds appropriated for the municipal government fall into this category, said Meng. 

The Beijing municipal government was the first province-level government to disclose the number of its official vehicles. Meanwhile, the city's government departments also disclosed plans to spend about 40 million yuan ($6.1 million) on new official vehicles this year.

In late March, Premier Wen Jiabao ordered the number of vehicles owned by central government departments be made public by June. The spending on purchases of new vehicles and fuel costs should also be published, he said.