October 17, 2017 / 1:58 PM / 10 months ago

China cuts government vehicles by almost two-thirds in spending crackdown

HONG KONG, Oct 17 (Reuters) - China has cut the number of government vehicles used by officials by 61.8 percent over the past five years, the National Government Offices Administration said, as part of broader efforts by the government to reduce spending.

China has been cracking down on officials using expense accounts and government vehicles for personal use, as well as on lavish receptions and luxury accommodation, the official Xinhua news agency said.

From 2012 to 2016, authorities cut the number of government vehicles by 3,868, of which 2,046 have been sold off in public auctions, the administration said in a statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Under President Xi Jinping, China aims to trim expenses to reduce graft and build a more transparent government.

The administration also said in the statement that central government spending on receptions totalled 419 million yuan ($63.31 million) in 2016, falling by 72.03 percent compared to 2012.

Government spending increased at the slowest pace in 11 months in September, rising 1.7 percent compared with the same month last year, suggesting economic growth could ease slightly towards the end of the year. ($1 = 6.6178 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong and Lee Chyen Yee in Singapore; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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