A Zhejiang-based lawyer on Thursday made a freedom of information request on the usage of "social maintenance fees," in a bid to call for more supervision of local family planning authorities.
Wu Youshui, a lawyer from the Hangzhou-based Bijian Lawyer Office in Zhejiang Province, applied to 31 province-level family planning and finance authorities, asking them to publicize the total amount of social maintenance fees collected in 2012 and details of how the money was spent.
Social maintenance fees are set for violating the family planning policy. Local family planning authorities are responsible for collecting the fees, which are determined by the local residents' income levels.
The country collects some 20 billion yuan($3.25 billion) in social maintenance fees yearly but there is very little information about how the money is spent, China Youth Daily reported on Thursday.
"I've found the majority of those fees went into local authorities' pockets, which ignore its original purpose," Wu told the Global Times on Friday.
Wu added that some authorities, which he applied to, have told him that they didn't have the data about how the money is being spent or they have to check it again.
"It's a bit ridiculous for them to give such responses. I hope my applications would force them to pay attention to this issue," he said.