Premier Wen Jiabao ordered officials to cut hospitality and transportation spending as an economic slowdown and stimulus measures squeeze government budgets, AFP reported, citing state media. The construction of any new government office compounds or other “glitzy” official projects has been banned through 2010. Wen also ordered a 10% cut in spending on entertaining official guests and reductions in government car purchases and fuel budgets of 15% and 20% respectively. Further caps will be imposed on official spending on meetings, ceremonies and overseas travel. It was reported in January that Beijing was planning a frugal military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic. The public is regularly angered by reports of the extravagant lifestyles of corrupt Communist Party and government officials. It is thought these sentiments might be intensified by the economic downturn.
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