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Beijing pushed for economic disclosure

China’s leaders are facing rare public pressure to reveal more details of their public spending plans ahead of this week’s opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress.

Part of the concern centres on the government’s Rmb4,000bn ($584bn) stimulus plan. Although it was announced in November, it is still not clear how much of it is really new and precisely how the funds will be invested.

This uncertainty, combined with growing concern among Chinese citizens about waste and corruption, has prompted a vigorous internet debate and a campaign by a well-known lawyer for the release of more information.

“We are all taxpayers now so we have the right to know how our money is being spent,” said Yan Yiming, a Shanghai-based lawyer leading a campaign for more details of the fiscal stimulus and budget ahead of the meeting of the NPC, the country’s legislature. “We are not satisfied with the rough estimates the government has thrown to us. We need more details. We do not want to be fooled around.”

[ Continue reading original article at FT ]

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