Wednesday, November 19, 2003

A colleague of mine recently asked me this:

Just met with some Party School people and we chatted about Party finance. They said that the salaries of local party secretaries and the CCP school were financed by the MoF and the national budget. I had assumed that the party and the government had separate finances, but it seems not. The membership fee seems to be too small to fund much. Surely the zhengdang fenkai policy should tackle this. Anyone?

And my response was this:

Yes, all the important party/administrative cadres down to the township levels are funded by the "budget." But "within budget" could mean either the local budget or the national budget. I suspect that important cadres at the provincial level are all directly funded by the central budget. From a political cohesion perspective, I think funding cadres with the formal budget is much better than the alternatives, which include rampant corruption and widespread "side businesses." Of course, this is happening already, but I think things could be worse without any central subsidies. Also, although party secretaries are nominally party cadres, they are really important decision-makers administratively. Until that changes, they will be considered "state cadres" and paid accordingly. Cheers,

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