China,s自拍【China’s Pension Maze】

來源:電腦基礎 發布時間:2019-02-07 04:10:23 點擊:

  The best way to prevent the misuse of social security funds could be to take them away from the eyesight of government officials.
  Aslew of social security fund scams have come to light since the Shanghai pension fund scandal was exposed A in August 2006, bringing down Chen Liangyu, the city’s most powerful man, as well as 50 other officials and businessmen.
  The Shanghai scandal, said to be the city’s largest within 20 years, involved the lending of 3.2 billion yuan (US$400 million) from the government-controlled social security fund to a private toll road company. Mr. Chen, the local Communist Party boss and a member of the Political Bureau, is the highest ranking official to be purged in China since 1995.
  Since then, the abuse of social security funds has alarmed China’s leaders and a nationwide audit of the funds has ensued.
  In late November, China’s state media reported that Lu Fulu, former executive vice mayor of Jinhua, Zhejiang province, was detained by the anti-graft authorities for being involved in a scandal in which a few hundred million yuan of social security funds were appropriated for stock market speculations. Huang Genshou, head the Jinhua Labor and Social Security Bureau was also under investigation for embezzlement.
  The scandals exposed in Shanghai and Zhejiang are only the “tip of the iceberg” of the whole social security fund misuse issue in China. In late November 2006, the National Audit Office released a report stating that its investigations uncovered 7.1 billion yuan (US$900 million) in pension funds having been siphoned off for “overseas investment, commercial loans to companies, construction of government buildings and other purposes.” Of the total, 2.3 billion yuan was stolen before 1999 and 4.8 billion yuan after that, said the report.
  Meanwhile, the Shanghaibased Xinmin Evening News dated November 24 reported citing Chen Liang, director of the fund supervision department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS), that since 1998 the ministry has carried out five nationwide audits of social security funds together with other central departments, revealing embezzlement in 16 of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China in 2004 and 1.7 billion yuan misappropriated in 2005.
  Wen Jiabao, China’s Premier, said at a November 22 State Council meeting, that the social security fund is a “high-voltage power line” and any person who misuses it will be heavily punished, according to China’s state press agency Xinhua.
  In early 2006, the MLSS announced that it would expand the pilot program solidifying individual accounts from two provinces to eight -- including Shanghai, Tianjin, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Xinjiang. That means that these provinces could become prolific with corrupt officials.
  Actually in Hubei, one of the provinces mentioned above, there is already a corrupt official being dug out. The local newspaper Chutian Metropolitan News reported that the Jingzhou Intermediary People’s Court gave Yang Zhengfa, the deputy Communist Party chief of GongAn county, a life sentence on November 24 for corruption and taking bribes. Yang was charged for embezzling 25 million yuan (US$3.12 million) of social security funds to speculate on stock markets, putting 3.93 million yuan of public funds into his own pocket and accepting bribes of 840,000 yuan.
  In Liaoning province, the local Liaosheng Evening News reported in early December that the director of a labor and social security bureau embezzled 12 million yuan of social security funds to speculate on stock markets, with half of the money being lost. The director surnamed Fu has been given a three-year sentence with five years’ probation.
  Chen Liang said inadequate laws, insufficient transparency in fund management, and inadequate public supervision are all factors in the widespread embezzlement.
  The Xinmin Evening News cited MLSS officials as saying that the Social Security Fund Management Regulation has been put on the legislative agenda and will be issued in conjunction with the Social Security Law which is currently being drafted.
  According to the 21st Century Business Herald, as early as 1991 the State Council, China’s equivalent of a cabinet, made strict regulations about the investment channels of social security funds, only allowing them to be invested in bank deposits and national bonds. Although the regulations became flexible two years later when the State Council allowed a certain portion of the funds to be put out through state banks and investment companies, the conditions of doing so are very stringent. In 1998 the State Council again issued an order forbidding the appropriation, embezzlement, lavishing and waste of the social security funds. The document then stated that all of the balance of the social security funds ? except for those set aside for paying the bills for two months ? should be used to purchase national bonds and deposit in the special accounts while investing in other financial and operational undertakings is strictly forbidden.
  Therefore, while the existing laws and regulations have loopholes which could be capitalized on, it appears that the root of the embezzlement problem runs far deeper than this.
  Fang Dehao, a columnist with the Hong Kong-based newspaper Asia Times, observed that based on the existing Chinese governmental system, it is almost impossible for local officials to manage the social security funds well. It has been learned that in some Chinese regions, records are written out by hand rather than stored on computer, and in a city in Guangdong province, there is only one person in charge of the work injury insurance records of 17,000 enterprises.
  Some central government officials have suggested centralizing the administration of social security funds to avoid the corruption chances of local officials. However, Mr. Fang believes if the centralization practice is adopted, it will make it more difficult for the Chinese government to realize its long-stated goal of streamlining the bureaucracy.
  In fact, there are very few people taking charge of managing China’s social security funds. Xinhua said fewer than 100 people supervise social security funds nationwide.
  Mr. Fang questions the effectiveness of increasing the number of supervisors. He remarked that in recent years the Chinese governmental system has been expanding but the cleaning of the government has improved little, with more and more big-scale corruption activities being exposed.
  There are also some experts who think that the centralized management of social security funds does not necessarily prevent corruption from happening, citing the experience of other countries.
  Michael F. Cannon, Washingtonbased Cato Institute’s director of health policy studies, said the best way for China to learn is from studying the examples of Hong Kong and Chile. Both of these countires choose one of many competing private companies to manage their social security funds.
  The social security framework of China includes five main insurance programs: pensions, unemployment, medical care, work injuries, and prenatal and post-natal care for female workers. Official data showed that by the end of 2005 China’s social security funds totaled 1.84 trillion yuan (US$233.35 billion).
  The attraction of embezzling the huge funds for investment and then putting them back after gaining profit is hard to resist. Mr. Fang commented that the best way is to keep the hand of officials from touching the social security funds.

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