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3,900 Officials Punished in Accident Probe

Chinese supervision authorities have investigated 571 big accidents with 3,931 officials punished in the past five years, according to the Ministry of Supervision (MOS).

This was one of the several special actions the ministry launched since 2002, based on complaints received from the public, a press release of the MOS said.

In 2005, the ministry started a campaign against government officials and managers of state-owned enterprises who have stake in private coal mines, jointly with the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of Communist Party of China (CPC).

After a year of investigation, 148 officials were punished and stake worth of 709 million yuan (US$94 million) was withdrawn, the press release said.

The ministry and CCDI also pushed relevant departments to pay 17.55 billion yuan (US$2.33 billion) of defaulted compensation to farmers who lost their land in government-driven projects since 1999, it said.

By 2005, defaulted salary of 33.7 billion yuan (US$4.48 billion) were also paid to migrant workers, according to the press release.

By January 2007, the government of all levels had paid 183.4 billion yuan (US$24.39 billion) of defaulted payment to contractors in construction projects, accounting for 98.6 percent of the total money they had owed by 2003.

(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2007)

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