Party watchdog denies rush to sell property

By Liu Dong Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-28 16:18:03

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CCDI of CPC) has denied a recent rumor that it had reported to the CPC Central Committee that officials nationwide were selling their property, China National Radio (CNR) reported on Friday.

"The rumors claim we reported to the central committee that local officials and high-level leaders of State-owned enterprises in more than 45 major cities across the country since last November were engaging in a large sell-off of property. But this is not true." a CCDI official told CNR.

Officials from CCDI claim they only receive such information through voluntary declarations of property, and they have no right to monitor private transactions.

CCDI refused to comment when called on Friday by the Global Times. 

The Economic Observer, a Beijing-based newspaper, reported on January 18 that a CCDI internal report showed Guangzhou and Shanghai have seen a wave of expensive property sales since last November, with  nearly 5,000 homes being flogged off in each city.

The Shanghai discipline inspection body posted an announcement on Friday that claimed it had never received any such report. Meanwhile, 21cbh.com, a financial news portal, reported on Friday that a 6.8 million yuan ($1.09 million) apartment in the Lujiazui financial zone in downtown Shanghai belonging to local officials was marked down 20 percent for sale.

According to the website, some 30 properties sold on Shanghai real estate agency websites claim to be owned by government officials desperate to sell as soon as possible. They were all priced about 30 percent below market value and required one-time payments in full.

Jiang Hong, director of the Center for Public Policy Studies at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times that it's possible some real estate agencies are using the rumor to drum up business.

"But the government should clarify such rumors to prevent those corrupt officials who truly want to destroy the evidence of their crime," he said.



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