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Chinese Auditors: No Serious Abuse in Management of Quake Relief

China's national audit office announced on Monday that no serious violations were found in the management of relief funds and supplies for survivors of the May 12 earthquake.

The death toll from the quake in southwest China stood at 69,207 people as of Monday noon.

However, auditors found some problems. Some donations were misused, while others weren't being allocated or had extra fees attached, the National Audit Office (NAO) said in a statement.

For example, in Caojiagou Village in northwest Shaanxi Province, 85 households were charged a total of 187,000 yuan (US$27,339) in so-called "construction planning fees" or "reconstruction guarantee money".

The NAO found 36 such violations, but it did not give a total amount for these cases.

All 21 people responsible for the violations had been disciplined by the Communist Party or had administrative punishments, it said.

As of July 18, the central and local governments had allocated a combined 63.71 billion yuan for quake relief, according to the NAO.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, domestic and foreign donations had reached 59.25 billion yuan in cash and goods by Monday noon. Of this, 22.88 billion yuan had been forwarded to quake-hit areas.

(Xinhua News Agency August 5, 2008)

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