June 29, 2009

Economic data fraud will lead to dismissal

A new Chinese law, designed to eliminate fraud in economic data, calls for punishing any government staff or official doing such things.

The new Law on Statistics approved by the National People's Congress bans staff at all levels from tampering with government data, China Daily reported. The new law is effective Jan. 1.

Ma Jiantang, director of the National Bureau of Statistics, said fabrication of statistics and altered data account for about 60 percent of all violations, the report said.

Officials have been warned against asking workers or agencies to fake data or taking revenge on those who disobey them, the report said.

Violators will be ordered to make rectification and imposed administrative punishments, the law says. Punishment will include dismissal and fines.

Former bureau Director Li Deshui said cumulative data from local governments to calculate the gross domestic product for 2004 was 3.9 percentage points higher than the agency's data for that year, representing an overstatement of nearly $380 billion.

The law will make statistical data more reliable so it can play a better role in understanding national realities and capacity, and better serve economic and social development, a legislative official was quoted as saying.