Freeze on govt department spending in China for 2009: state media

BEIJING, November 5, 2008 (AFP) – Governmental department spending in China in 2009 will be frozen at this year’s level, ending an annual five-percent increase following the global financial crisis, state media said Wednesday.

“The budgets for next year should be capped at the same amount as this year’s and every project will be looked at,” the official China Daily quoted the Finance Ministry as saying.

Department spending includes staff salaries and official business, the newspaper said.

The report said this ended an average annual five percent increase on government agency spending, in place for the past five years.

It would be brought about by reducing the number of conferences, receptions and business trips, it said.

“As the impact of the financial crisis increases… it is only by preserving stable economic growth that one can effectively combat the financial crisis,” the official Xinhua news agency said in a report on the spending freeze.