Sunday, March 1, 2009

Article - China toughens laws on corruption, insurance

China has tightened laws to hand out stiffer punishments to officials convicted of bribe-taking and nepotism

The Associated Press
Saturday, February 28, 2009

BEIJING (AFP) — China has tightened laws to hand out stiffer punishments to government officials and their families convicted of bribe-taking and nepotism, state media reported Sunday.

Passage of amendments to the criminal law came as the standing committee of parliament also amended Saturday insurance laws to stop insurers from making risky investments in capital markets, Xinhua news agency said.

The revised criminal law doubles the punishment to 10 years in prison and increases fines for officials who are found in possession of large amounts of money or property that cannot be accounted for, the report said.

The newly amended law also "bans relatives of people who have close relations with government employees from conducting corrupt deals between the employee and bribe-givers," it said.

The new law not only targets family members of government officials, but also their lovers, classmates and other acquaintances, and places detailed curbs on "power-for-money" transactions and financial crimes, it said.

President Hu Jintao has said the fight against corruption is linked to the survival of the ruling Communist Party and has pledged to curb official graft which has become a source of widespread social dissatisfaction.

(The amendments are in keeping with the ambitions of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to create a "harmonious society" without threatening the Communist Party's uncontested hold on power. Corruption is routinely cited as a mortal threat to the regime, although there has been no marked increase in the numbers of annual graft prosecutions.- AFP 28 Feb 2009)

The newly amended law took effect on Saturday at the close of a legislative session of the National People's Congress standing committee and ahead of the annual meeting of the full parliament which opens on Thursday.

The legislative session also passed amendments to insurance laws which give the government's insurance regulatory body the power to halt transactions by insurance companies and their subsidiaries that are deemed too risky, Xinhua said in a separate report.

For insurance companies with inadequate solvency, the new law also authorises the regulatory body to restrict salaries of the company's board members and senior administrators, it added.

The law also expands the investment choices for insurance companies to stocks, securities-investment funds and property, as well as government bonds and financial bills.

Why is the CCP so concerned about the corruption problem in China?

No comments: