Beijing: As its economy slowed down, China today clamped a five year ban on the construction of new government buildings in a frugality drive, ending the era of massive construction boom.
The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Cabinet jointly issued a directive calling for an across-the-board halt to the construction of any new government buildings in the coming five years as part of an ongoing austerity campaign.
The ban also covers expensive structures built as training centres or hotels, official media here reported.
The directive also charged some departments and localities have built government office compounds in violation of regulations.
It asked CPC and government bodies to be frugal and ensure that government funds and resources be spent on developing the economy and boosting the public`s well-being.
The new orders came as second quarter results showed economy slowing down further to 7.5 per cent amid projections that the growth may slip below seven per cent, the slowest in about two decades.
The ban is expected to have a huge impact on the country`s construction industry.
The measure was part of sweeping measures being undertaken by the government to cut down expenditure, which included 78 per cent budget cut for the National Games.
According to the directive, the construction, purchase, restoration or expansion of office compounds that is done in the guise of building repair or urban planning is strictly forbidden.
The directive also bans CPC and government organisations from receiving any form of construction sponsorship or donations, as well as collaborating with enterprises, in developing construction projects.
According to the instruction, such projects must be approved first by related administrative departments and luxury interior decoration is prohibited, with criteria and spending to be set in accordance with local conditions.
The directive stipulates that expenditures on office building restoration should be included in CPC and government budgets.
According to the instruction, buildings with reception functions, such as those related to accommodation, meetings and catering, should not be restored.
It also says CPC and government officials with multiple posts should be each given only one office, while offices for those who have retired or taken leave should be returned in time.
Strict approval procedures are also required for renting new office blocks, according to the directive.
"Banning the building of new government buildings is important for building a clean government and also a requirement for boosting CPC-people ties and maintaining the image of the CPC and the government," state run Xinhua quoted an official circular as saying.
The renovation of existing government buildings and the construction of new buildings should be made public, the directive says.