China has been providing subsidies, tax breaks and other incentives to encourage enterprises to invest overseas. But in its annual report to the National People’s Congress, the country’s top auditor revealed that the program has led to massive corruption and abuse by beneficiaries.
The National Audit Office said two companies based in the port city of Dalian in northeastern China’s Liaoning province, had spent 268 million yuan (US$$43 million) in subsidies earmarked for technology acquisitions on 14 wineries in France, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
Asked about the NAO findings, executives at Dalian Shide Group and Ruiyang (Dalian) Investment Management declined to comment, saying they were unaware of the report.
The auditor also revealed that state geologists who received allowances to study the booming shale gas industry in North America took a sidetrip to the gambling capital of Las Vegas.
In another case, a group of officials working for the State Oceanic Administration spent half of time meant for an Antarctic expedition in France and Chile.
The latest audit covered almost 400 government bodies accounting for one-third of government budget spending last year, or 154 billion yuan, the newspaper said.
It listed at least 314 serious cases of “law and disciplinary violations” involving 1,100 people, up from 175 cases in its previous report.
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