• The CDDI hopes to encourage Chinese citizens and app users to be vigilant and act as the commission’s eyes and ears.

The CDDI hopes to encourage Chinese citizens and app users to be vigilant and act as the commission’s eyes and ears. (Photo : REUTERS)

The top disciplinary watchdog of China announced the new rules for a revised stipend for officials' business trips, mentioning on Sunday that only officials at the ministerial level and above can avail first-class flights and stay at suites.

Other officials, including department-level officials, are limited only to economy class flight tickets and stay at single or standard rooms, said the Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Like Us on Facebook

Ministerial and department-level officials can ride the train first-class and other officials should travel in second-class coaches.

Officials of ministerial level will be given 800 yuan ($127) per day for accommodations for business trips. Department-level officials will have 450 to 500 yuan, while other officials will be given 310 to 350 yuan, depending to the cost of their travels, as noted in the announcement.

Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Time that the stipend levels are influenced by the pace of China's economy.

Officials going to destinations in Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region will be handed 120 yuan per day for food, while those traveling to other parts of China will be given 100 yuan per day, according to the CCDI.

If the local departments arrange accommodations and catering, the official has to pay for those and the cost must not surpass the limits of the stipend.

Officials can also have 80 yuan per day for their daily transportation requirements during their official travels.

The announcement presses officials to hand over receipts, tickets and trip permits to authorities upon their return. Officials have to pay for expenses which are not covered by the stipend or if they fail to turn receipts over.

"The CCDI announcement has made it convenient for the public to supervise officials' business trips," said Zhu. The official added that the government should reveal more detailed plans for meetings and official travels in advance.

Some officials have refrained from utilizing luxury business trips or using government funds for personal use.

The Party chief of a county-level forestry bureau in Sichuan Province, Li Mingmu, was dismissed from his place in the Party for organizing private travels for officials and their families with public funds frequently, the CCDI reported on Sunday.

The vice general manager of Shanghai Future Exchange (SHFE), Ye Chunhe, and the head of the SHFE's disciplinary watchdog, Lao Guangxiong, got "serious warning" and administrative punishment for taking sightseeing tours and using government funds to use personal expenses while on an overseas business trip, added the CCDI.

To control such unsavory practices, the Ministry of Finance released a regulation on January last year that aims to manage officials' business travels and persuaded the central government to enhance the system of approval for official travels.

According to the regulation, officials cannot attend tours that are not related to their jobs.