2009: Abolish Local, Provincial GDP Figures — Temptations to Fakery

Local and provincial GDP statistics are inherently unreliable and tempt officials to fake economic statistics, say two PRC National People’s Congress Standing Committee members.

Wu Xiaoling of the NPC standing committee (former vice president of the Bank of China and of the PRC Foreign Exchange Control Bureau, and author of some scholarly books) says that local GDP figures should be abolished. GDP should be used at the national level but since there is no customs control between provinces or localities. This can cause considerable duplication of data as goods move back and forth. Moreover officials are powerfully tempted to fake local GDP data to make themselves look good. GDP statistics should be abolished below the national level.
Another NPC Standing Committee member, Zhu Yongxin (former VP of Suzhou University) criticized officials who offer one statistic when they want to make themselves look good but then another statistic when they want to receive assistance.
Zhu Yongxin also said that the penalties for falsifying statistics in the Statistics Law revision draft are too light. “According to a study of the last 25 years of the Statistics Law, the highest level official to have been punished for falsifying statistics is was at the county level. No official above the county level has ever been punished for falsifying statistics. But if we take a look at statistical reporting we see that particularly GDP figures are fakes, financial figures are often faked at the local level, and also at the provincial level. But that punishment has never gone above the county level. Zhu suggested making penalties for falsifying statistics more severe in the draft revision of the Statistics Law.


PRC Mandates Spring 2009 Survey of Peasant Migrants and their Employers

The PRC Ministry of Labor and Social Security has mandated surveys of migrant workers and their potential employers (including plans for new hiring during the two months after Spring Festival) are getting underway across China.

The employers survey “企业春季用工需求调查”Company Spring Labor Supply and Demand Survey will be carried out in 26 big cities. The survey of laborers going outside their area will be carried out in principal labor exporting counties. “农村外出务工人员就业情况调查”
According a December 23, 2008 Huaxi Dushibao  华西都市报 Chengdu newspaper report, the results will be released to the public, at least here in Sichuan.  In Chengdu the survey was to be  taken December 22 – December 31.

“企业春季用工需求调查”在成都市进行,“农村外出务工人员就业情况调查”在绵竹市、富顺县、射洪县、古蔺县、资中县、苍溪县等劳务输出大县进行。按照要求,用工需求调查的企业不少于100家,涵盖当地用工较多的行业和区县;农村外出务工人员就业情况调查对象为春节之前返乡过年的当地外出务工人员,每个县调查的当地外出务工人员应不少于100人。 调查内容包括企业春节后2月内是否招人、招多少,技术工种、文化程度要求,以及待遇标准等;对于农村外出务工人员,调查内容包括是否外出务工,愿到何地务工、是否愿意接受培训,以及薪酬要求等。

The reporting order (red letter document) from the PRC Ministry of Labor and Social Security on the surveys is copied below. Instructions how to use the software to organize and transmit the data to Beijing was then online at http://www.lm.gov.cn/down2009.htm

I found online a powerpoint presentation from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security dated November 2008 also discusses how to use this software for data entry of human resources surveys and for transmission of the data to Beijing. The power point presentation is at http://www.molss.gov.cn/images/2008-11/06/1511050616537653081710.ppt

Being a bit agnostic about Chinese statistics, I found the attached file and ppt presentation interesting.   Not being trained in the field, so I can’t say how good it is.

During a trip to Guizhou recently,  I was told “In China statistics are very carefully checked for accuracy from the center all the way down to the county and the township level where the local officials make them up.”

From the PRC Ministry of Labor and Social Security website at http://www.hrb-labor.gov.cn/labnet/labcms/html/zuixinwenjian/20081224/1848.html

 

关于开展企业春季用工需求调查和农村外出务工人员就业情况调查的通知(人社厅明电[2008]57

[日期:2008-12-24 08:45:11 ] [ 来源:  作者: ]  

(see the remainder of this document at the URL above.  Now you know why they call them “red header documents” Hóngtóu wénjiàn  红头文件 )

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About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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