November 15, 2005

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Notes from central planning

Today's HK Confidential in The Standard notes the logical absurdities that can result from targets:

In China, official performance is famously linked to growth in the sector the official oversees. For regional officials, regional GDP growth has always been a decisive factor for promotion, for instance. It is the same for industries. However, Shangqiu City in the central province of Henan has carried this to an extreme. For many years, the central government has made efforts to promote cremation. Thus Shangqiu's Cishen town recently ordered that each village achieve an annual goal of cremating six of every thousand residents. That means six out of every 1,000 must die each year so that their remains can go up the chimney. The order doesn't spell out what the local government will do if fewer than six die in any given year.
Mental note: avoid Cishen.

posted by Simon on 11.15.05 at 09:49 AM in the China economy category.


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