Local governments are to be banned from using bank loans or any other kind of outside funding to pay for the construction of their office buildings, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to an edict passed down by Beijing on Wednesday, money for office buildings must only come from government budgets. Construction costs for ministry buildings are to be capped at US$518 per square meter and various add-on features such as high atriums, fountains, indoor gardens, meeting rooms and training centers are banned. Projects deemed unnecessary will be confiscated and sold. In recent years, local governments have built increasingly extravagant administrative buildings, often circumventing central government measures to rein in property purchases and construction. The edict, issued by the State Council and the Communist Party states that government offices should be "stately, frugal, functional and resource-efficient".
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