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China rail employees punished after spending $137m on receptions

world Updated: Oct 22, 2013 14:51 IST

Eight employees of China's largest railway building firm have been punished for spending more than $137 million on receptions, state media reported on Tuesday, the latest move in the leadership's much-publicised anti-corruption drive.

The state-run Global Times newspaper did not give details of the punishment but said another 57 employees of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation have been reprimanded, and one faces prosecution.

According to the company's March 2012 annual report, CRCC spent 837 million yuan ($137 million) on receptions in one year -- equivalent to about 10 percent of its 2012 profits.

The report comes amid public anger at official misconduct and a campaign by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who took office earlier this year pledging to tackle corruption at all levels of government.

Last week the mayor of Nanjing, an eastern city with a population of about eight million, was removed from his post over graft allegations.

Ji Jianye had been in the post since January 2010 and was fired for "suspected serious disciplinary violations", according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

Former China railways minister Liu Zhijun, who held the position for eight years and was considered the "father" of the country's vastly expanded rail network, was sacked in 2011 and given a suspended death sentence this July for accepting a total of 64.6 million yuan in bribes to help 11 people secure contracts and promotions.

The Global Times said 41 provincial-level officials had been summoned to Beijing earlier this month for a week-long class on transparent governance.

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