As of July 20, 2012, a total of 98 central government agencies had published their actual 2011 expenses and their budgeted expenses for 2012 in the following three spending areas: overseas trips, auto purchases, and maintenance expenses for meals and receptions. The total 2011 expenses in these categories amounted to 9.36 billion yuan. Overseas trips accounted for 1.98 billion; auto purchases and maintenance expenses accounted for 5.92 billion; and meals and receptions accounted for 1.47 billion. The 2011 actual expenses for the Ministry of Taxation alone were 2 billion yuan, with 1.36 in auto purchases and maintenance. The budgeted expenses for 2012 were down by 1.38 billion to 7.98 billion yuan with 2.14 for overseas trips, 4.35 for auto purchases and expenses, and 1.49 for meals and receptions. Spending for the armed police was in 2011 actuals, but that figure was excluded from the 2012 budget.
Some experts suggested that there were more areas in which expenses could be reduced further. For example, cutting unnecessary overseas trips could result in a reduction of 30 percent; auto purchases could be reduced as well by limiting the new car purchases and selling used cars to recoup some of the expenses. Others indicated that a system of checks and balances is lacking, where new guidelines are yet to be established. The article indicated that the parties who have violated the system should take more responsibility.
Source: China Economy, July 21, 2012