Daily Archives: October 12, 2017

Close eye on funds for poor

Children of Se ethnic group sit in front of a monument that reads “China’s No. 1 Poverty Relief Village” at Chixi Village, Panxi town, Fuding city in East China”s Fujian province, Feb 14. The village has shaken off poverty thanks to assistance from Party and government officials at all levels over the past 30 years. “I cooked food for my mother, but when I went to give it to her she had died.”This heartbreaking line is from a composition by a girl who was left bereft of her parents because of poverty.The sad story came just days after reports that more than 28,000 officials have been placed under investigation or indicted for misappropriation of poverty alleviation funds or other subsidies intended for rural villagers from 2013 until May this year, which has aroused indignation against the venality of some grassroots officials.There may not be a direct link between the misappropriation of funds intended for poverty alleviation and the grinding poverty in the girl’s hometown of Liangshan in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, where three decades of poverty alleviation efforts have failed to pull local residents of the Yi ethnic group out of their hand-to-mouth existence. However, the diversion of poverty alleviation funds for other purposes does negatively affect the country’s efforts to pull people out of poverty.True, the remoteness of the girl’s hometown is an important factor for its slow development, despite financial aid and other assistance from the central government. But has there been any survey or investigation to determine how effectively the poverty alleviation funds are being used to benefit local villagers or how much money has directly reached those households badly in need of help?The same question should be thrown at all officials that have received poverty alleviation aid for many consecutive years.Helping more than 70 million rural residents escape grinding poverty by the year 2020 is one of the goals of the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), but this goal will not be achieved if the money is siphoned off by officials or poured directly into local governments with little attention being paid to how it can effectively be used to improve the lives of the needy.

Russia denies massive divorces for tax avoidance

MOSCOW – The Russian State Duma, lower house of the parliament, possesses no particular data about the number of its members who have allegedly divorced recently in order to conceal their taxable income, a Duma representative said Friday.”I can’t rule out that the divorces for convenience have happened,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted deputy head of the State Duma Ethics Commission Andrei Andreev as saying.Andreev said no one in the Duma possessed the precise information about the family affairs of its members and has no right to investigate such allegations.Local media reported this week that some 30 Duma members had divorced prior to filling in their tax declarations in the last two months. Among them could be deputy speaker of the Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky, his colleague Ilya Ponomaryov told reporters.Zhirinovsky denied the accusation and said he had never divorced.Russian law requires the members of the legislatures as well as state officials to file their tax returns which must include the income of their spouses.

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