Crackdown on officials' mining interest intensifiesPublished by MAC on 2006-04-13
Crackdown on officials' mining interest intensifies
by Xinhua Writer Wu Jing, Xinhua - http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-04/14/content_4425826.htm
13th April 2006
BEIJING -- Six Chinese government administrations have pledged to intensify a joint investigation into the interests of government officials in coal mines.
At a meeting of the administrations, Vice-Minister of Supervision Chen Changzhi said government and regional departments should implement government policies, govern within legal frameworks, and root out officials with stakes in coal mines.
By January 20, more than 7,000 officials, either in government or in state-owned enterprises, had disposed of their mine interests amid the nationwide crackdown. However, Chen said that some local governments had relaxed controls and failed to adequately investigate.
He called on governments and regions to intensify investigations into officials who had already reported their investments in coal mines. Administration leaders should dispose of their interests as soon as possible, and to surrender profits to the national treasury in line with regulations.
"We should focus on whether officials are participating in, turning a blind eye to or covering up illegal coal mines," Chen added.
Those who failed to report their interests, transferred them to others, concealed their interests, or continued to invest in mines, would be prosecuted with the full force of the law.
Investigating officers should encourage information from the public.
Methods to permanently enforce the ban on mine investments should be explored, Chen said.
Chen said any government body that failed to carry out its duties would be held accountable.
The government had banned officials from investing in mines in an effort to cut the disturbing number of accidents, Chen said. Corruption and land seizures for coal mine development were a severe infringement on the public's rights and interests.
The probe showed that many accidents occurred because officials with mining interests were allowing illegal and unsafe mines to operate.
The six administrations involved in the crackdown are the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Ministry of Supervision, the Commission for Supervision and Management of State-owned Properties under the State Council, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the State Administration of Production Safety, and the State Administration of Coal-Mine Safety.