China’s crackdown on corruption and focus on government austerity in the last one year has saved nearly $ 9 billion in public funds, official statistics have revealed.
Over 162,600 “phantom staff” on the government payroll were sacked under the campaign to cut down government expenditure.
“Phantom staff” refer to those who were being paid government salaries without working for the government. (The statistics however did not reveal how long the scam was going on.) Nearly 8,200 members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and officials were also punished for abusing their power and misusing public funds.
State media hailed the achievements as part of President Xi Jinping’s much-publicised “mass line” campaign under which party members were expected to strengthen their links with citizens and clean-up their style of working. According to state media, the campaign was a fight against “formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance”.