China's Ministry of Construction announced plans for a nationwide investigation to determine the amount of back pay owed to the country's construction workers. A ministry official told Chinese media that the investigation could be finished by May and local governments would be expected to submit a plan for paying back wages by June. The ministry said that of the estimated US$4.1 billion in back pay owed to mainland construction workers, government projects account for 26.7% of the total. The ministry added that real estate developers account for 39.6%. Premier Wen Jiabao recently stated that workers on government-backed projects should be among the first to be paid their owed wages.
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