Vietnam unwraps no corruption in Tet 'gifts'

By VnExpress   February 9, 2017 | 11:12 am GMT+7
Vietnam unwraps no corruption in Tet 'gifts'
Lunar New Year gift baskets are on display at a supermarket in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ha Phuong

Government agencies followed a nationwide ban on gift giving during the holiday, state inspectors say.

Government inspectors found no cases of inappropriate gift exchanges among officials during the recent Lunar New Year festival, a successful result to the government’s plan to stop corruption over the country’s most important holiday.

Pham Trong Dat, head of the Anti-Corruption Department at the State Inspectorate, said in a statement on Wednesday that 90 percent of government agencies had reported on gift exchanges and spending among officials during the week-long Tet holiday ending February 1.

“They found no illegal gift exchanges or illegal use of public money for the holiday celebrations,” Dat said.

In some cases, officials had planned to present gifts to their superiors but were stopped and rebuked, he said.

Tet, also known as Vietnam’s spring festival, normally involves a lot of visits, parties and gifts.

In a break from tradition, top Communist Party and State leaders made the decision to skip official visits to cities and provinces during the holiday this year.

They also banned city and provincial officials from giving gifts to high-ranking leaders. In many cases the gifts are used as bribes to curry favor with bosses, according to media reports.

Vietnam's government got tough on spending for the country’s biggest festival this year. It also instructed cities and provinces to cancel firework shows in order to save money to help people in difficult situations including victims of various natural disasters in 2016. The order was followed nationwide.

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