Tighten, Not Fasten, Your Belts: No More First Class Flights for Guangdong OfficialsPosted: 04/11/2014 8:00 am
Is the Guangdong government taking a cue from former US ambassador Gary Locke who stunned Chinese netizens when he was photographed flying in a coach class on a plane?
Yangcheng Evening News on April 10 reported that the Guangdong government has issued a directive banning any department-level (usually mid-ranking) government officials from flying business class or first class on official trips.
In addition to downgrading their plane classes to coach, officials were also ordered to dial back their daily expenses on transportation, accommodation and meals. Provincial officials are only allowed RMB 800 (about $130) a night for accommodation, and department-level officials were allocated RMB 490 (about $79) a night. Other attachés can only spend RMB 340 (about $55) a day, the report said.
Their expenses on food and local transportation also have a fixed limit of RMB 100 ($16.1) and RMB 80 ($13) respectively, for provincial and department-level officials, it added.
To help officials make “economic and convenient choices,” the government introduced a benchmark of some sort saying that the selection should not affect one’s usual work or jeopardize one’s safety, according to the directive.
This comes just a day after Guangdong officials were ordered to disclose their budgets for weddings and funerals, and give a 10-day notice to the government when planning the events.
President Xi Jinping has introduced a series of austerity rules to clamp down government extravagance including expensive liquors like Maotai, fancy mooncakes and number of overseas trips.
But will this lead to any tangible results to eradicate bureaucracy and build a more accountable government, or will it be another directive thrown under a pile of archives? Let’s wait and check the first-class cancellation figures from airline companies on Monday.
Home page photo from China News