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Premier calls for frugality among govt employees, less burden on grassroots officials

Updated: Jul 24,2020 02:29 PM

With the downward pressure and tightened finance, governments at all levels should cultivate a culture of savings and restraint, strengthen supervision over the use of money, make efforts to ensure market entities and people’s lives, and government employees should be accustomed to frugality, Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council’s third work conference on clean governance on July 23.

This year, the central government cuts its non-urgent and non-essential expenditures by more than 50 percent, said Premier Li, adding that local governments should also tighten their budget, guarantee funds for essentials and cut down unnecessary spending.

Budget approvals violating regulations and budget added at will are not allowed, and the funds will not be misappropriated on general expenditures, he said.

Premier Li called for efforts to spend less to get more work done, avoid unnecessary costs, strictly tighten the budget on public expenditures and business trips, and forbid building or expanding government structures and adding luxury decor.

He urged government organs to strengthen the building of a frugal government, carry out simple and practical activities, find and solve problems, improve management, and implement the requirements of a tightened budget, letting the public see the results.

At the conference, Premier Li also called for creating favorable conditions for grassroots-level officials concentrating on work.

With heavy workloads and many key tasks this year, some departments also need to receive supervision, assessment and evaluation, the Premier said, adding that supervision and evaluation methods should be improved, combining tasks or sharing information. Multiple and repetitive checks, and frequent forms should be avoided.

A pragmatic and diligent attitude is a must when facing challenges and difficulties, and formalities and bureaucracy are forbidden, Premier Li said.

Burdens on grassroots officials should be relieved, with fewer written documents and meetings but more use of information technologies to improve government efficiency, he said.

At the grassroots level, more tasks are loaded on fewer officials. Especially this year, grassroots officials are fighting on the front line of epidemic control and work resumption, Premier Li said, adding that some regions have also been hit by seasonal floods, and the officials deserve more consideration as they work day and night.

The Premier said the incentive mechanism for officials should be improved and work conditions and treatment for grassroots officials should be guaranteed, so that they can be more dedicated to work.