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Guizhou seeks to disclose relief fund info

11-30-2011 10:02 BJT

By He Dan and Yang Jun

BEIJING, Nov. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Town and county authorities in Guizhou have been ordered to improve their handling of information related to the use of funds earmarked for poverty-reduction projects.

"We've realized that the poverty relief fund has not always been used efficiently, as some local governments have failed to track how the money is used," said Ye Tao, director of Guizhou's Poverty Alleviation Office.

The situation, he explained, was largely due to the fact that poverty relief projects arise through various channels, including government subsidies, international organizations and corporate donations.

It was also often the case that one project was managed by multiple government agencies, Ye added.

To deal with the problem, authorities will introduce competition into the process. According to a policy that will come into force next year, operators will need to bid for all projects, and they will not receive follow-up investment unless they were transparent and met clearly set deadlines.

Ye said that the province was also working on a plan that will see information about poverty reduction work released on a regular basis.

The Guizhou government is expected to spend an estimated 2 billion yuan ($314 million) on poverty relief in the first half of next year, with roughly 80 percent going toward boosting the agricultural and eco-tourism industries.

Chen Chao, 35, recently returned home to his village in Tongren prefecture to grow walnuts. He said he had grown tired of trying to feed his family on the 12,000 yuan he earned as a migrant worker in Guangdong province.

"The (Guizhou) government is not only providing saplings and fertilizer, but has also given us training and technical support," he said.

Chen now estimates he can make a profit of 84,000 yuan in two years from his hectare of farmland.

Guizhou authorities aim to lift 550,000 people out of poverty by the end of 2012 and at least 2 million in the next five years. Statistics provided by Ye show that the province has successfully pulled more than 4.4 million rural residents out of poverty in the past decade, as well as increased the annual income of farmers from 1,262 yuan to 3,105 yuan.

However, the Poverty Alleviation Office chief said that the task remained "arduous", as more than 13 million rural residents suffered a shortage of clean drinking water and 1.5 million people in remote mountainous areas struggled with poor transport links.

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Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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