Experts say a special inspection of poverty relief work in 26 provinces, regions, government bodies and banks will ensure government policies are implemented fully, poverty alleviation funds are used properly, and the country’s goal of ridding rural areas of absolute poverty in three years is realized.
Announced by the Communist Party of China Central Committee this week, the special inspection is the first to look solely at Party organizations’ involvement in poverty relief work in such areas.
It will effectively supervise the implementation of central government policies by local Party organizations and discipline inspection commissions and ensure they fully perform their duties in solving problems in poverty alleviation, said Jiang Laiyong, a researcher at the Research Center of Clean Governance at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The poverty relief funds in those areas are large, he said, making it “easy to breed bribery and other corruption cases”.
“So the inspectors have strengthened efforts to monitor the Party organizations in those areas to prevent such graft issues, then make sure those funds will be used to meet practical needs to get rid of poverty,” Jiang said.
According to the authorities, the central inspection teams will inspect eight provinces — Jilin, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai — as well as the Inner Mongolia, Guangxi Zhuang, Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions, and Chongqing municipality.
The 13 government bodies and banks on the list include the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Ministry of Transport, the National Health Commission and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, as well as Agricultural Development Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China.
In October last year, President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a report at the 19th CPC National Congress in which he called for resolute fighting in three battles — solving major risks, eliminating poverty and controlling pollution — to build a well-off society acceptable to the people and able to withstand the test of history.
In May, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, China’s Cabinet, jointly issued guidance on the launch of a three-year special action plan to rid the country of poverty.
“Year 2018 is essential to cope with the obvious problems involving poverty relief, such as failure to perform duties of relevant authorities and discipline inspection commissions, untargeted work measures, and misuse and embezzlement of poverty alleviation funds,” said Gao Bo, deputy head of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection group stationed at CASS.
Wu Haiying, a senior official from the central inspection team, told China Central Television, “It’s more than necessary to initiate the special inspections to tackle existing problems, to ensure all the rural areas and poverty-stricken counties will be lifted out of poverty before 2020.”
During the inspection, inspectors will focus on monitoring Party organizations’ implementation of major central government policies and decisions and their performance of their main duties.
They will also monitor discipline inspection commissions in the provinces, regions, government bodies and banks to see how they have performed their supervisory roles and established improved methods for dealing with poverty problems.
The inspectors will also examine the need for training in those areas and set up professional teams to tackle poverty issues.
Central inspection teams previously inspected Party organizations’ involvement in poverty relief in nine provinces and regions, including Shanxi, Henan and Hainan provinces, as part of a wider-ranging inspection.
That inspection found problems in seven provinces and regions, including Henan, where poverty-relief measures were not adequately targeted and the style of work was unrealistic, and proposed rectification plans.