Officials from five central departments met on Sunday to study the supervision of relief funds for areas affected by the May 12 earthquake, amid rising public concern over the issue.
The five departments were the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the Ministry of Supervision, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the National Audit Office.
The participants agreed to set up a leading group with officials from the five departments, to be managed by the Ministry of Supervision.
They also decided to issue special regulations on the distribution and use of relief funds as soon as possible. The authorities will step up the supervision and auditing of fund use and release information regularly.
They pledged to severely punish anyone who embezzles relief funds, with offenders to be sued by judicial departments.
According to the latest official figures, domestic and foreign donations stand at 29 billion yuan (about 4.15 billion U.S. dollars).
(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2008)