Fake data to be pun­ished, of­fi­cial says

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - ByWANG YANFEI wangyan­fei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli urged lo­cal gov­ern­ments on Wed­nes­day to im­prove the cred­i­bil­ity of statis­tics, be­cause fal­si­fied data can mis­lead pol­i­cy­mak­ers in their plans for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Zhang called for lo­cal gov­ern­ments, es­pe­cially at the pro­vin­cial level, to im­prove their ac­count­abil­ity in com­pil­ing data.

He said of­fi­cials face de­mer­its in their per­for­mance eval­u­a­tion, which would deny them pro­mo­tion, if they are found re­spon­si­ble for fake statis­tics.

Zhang stressed the need to en­hance lawen­force­ment and make good use of merit sys­tems for com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als to raise their aware­ness of au­then­tic­ity and in­tegrity of pub­lic data.

His com­ments were made dur­ing a visit to the Na­tional Statis­tics Bureau and fol­lowed Liaon­ing prov­ince’s ad­mis­sion in its an­nual gov­ern­ment re­port in Jan­uary that it fal­si­fied statis­tics from 2011 to 2014.

The fis­cal prov­ince had in­flated rev­enue statis­tics by about 20 per­cent and faked some other eco­nomic data dur­ing those four years, Peo­ple’s Daily re­ported in Jan­uary.

“Shoul­der­ing the weight of the shame we have brought on our­selves, we have re­moved the ex­ag­ger­ated data and cor­rected the 2015 fis­cal fig­ures, while try­ing hard to make all the other eco­nomic statis­tics ac­cu­rate since 2016,” said Chen Qi­ufa, gov­er­nor of Liaon­ing.

The prov­ince had 219.9 bil­lion yuan ($32 bil­lion) of fis­cal rev­enue in 2016, a year-onyear rise of 3.4 per­cent.

Liaon­ing is aim­ing for 5 per­cent fis­cal rev­enue growth this year, ac­cord­ing to its an­nual re­port.

Three days af­ter Liaon­ing’s fal­si­fied data rev­e­la­tion, NBS chief Ning Jizhe said at a news con­fer­ence that the na­tional statis­tics are re­li­able. China’s GDP grew by 6.7 per­cent in 2016.

Zhou Muzhi, a pro­fes­sor of eco­nom­ics at Tokyo Univer­sity, sug­gested lo­cal gov­ern­ments give up ex­clu­sively pur­su­ing eco­nomic growth and pay more at­ten­tion to en­vi­ron­men­tal and social wel­fare to achieve more bal­anced de­vel­op­ment.

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