BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government is working to address the misuse of poverty relief programs by profit-seeking NGOs, Monday's China Daily reported.
The newspaper quoted a recent circular issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development as saying that the authorities take aim at stamping out misconduct in NGOs' poverty reduction endeavors.
The circular criticized organizations using such programs to enrich themselves and urged more transparency in the spending of funds raised from the public.
It also pledged serious punishment for NGOs that embezzle money from such programs and said those suspected of criminal offenses will be handed over to the public security authorities.
However, the two departments also reiterated their support for NGO involvement in the country's campaign to eradicate absolute poverty, the report said, noting that the authorities will coach charitable groups to make full use of tax breaks tailored for relief funds, and will instill discipline in NGOs' relief efforts through annual checkups and evaluations.
China launched a three-year crackdown last year on officials who undermine poverty relief efforts.
However, supervision of misconduct with the nongovernment sector also seemed to become necessary as cases have been reported in which NGOs allegedly skimmed money from funds raised in the name of poverty relief, the newspaper quoted Qu Tianjun, a senior official who oversees nongovernmental participation in poverty relief, as saying.