2008-06-26 11:42:07 GMT 2008-06-26 19:42:07 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Thursday told its branches in the quake zone to step up supervision of relief fund and material.
"Local financial authorities should collaborate closely with civil affairs and audit departments to step up supervision efforts," said the MOF in a web circular.
China had allocated 54.68 billion yuan (7.97 billion U.S. dollars) for the relief efforts as of Thursday noon, of which 49.61 billion yuan was from the central government and the rest from local authorities.
How to efficiently manage such a sum to the benefit of quake survivors has become an issue of public concern.
The MOF urged its local agencies to be alert to possible malpractice in the use of relief fund and report such suspicions in a timely manner to ensure that quake aid was used effectively.
Those who misused relief fund face severe penalties, the MOF warned.