Report: Chinese Officials Tax Villagers to Pay for Census
Some Chinese villagers have been forced to pay an illegal tax of 3 yuan (36 US cents) by officials responsible for a census of the world's most populous nation, state media said Sunday.
The Hainan Daily said that the incidents had "annoyed" the villagers in Baiyun, near Hedong in southwest Sichuan province.
A village cadre, Zhao Weizhang, explained to the newspaper that the authorities had not given the village the money to pay for the census and they were therefore forced to obtain the cash directly from the villagers.
The village itself did not have the means to pay for the printing of the census forms or the salaries of the census takers, who should be paid 50 yuan a day, added Zhao.
Six million census takers -- the population of Switzerland -- were recruited to count some 1.3 billion Chinese, in the 5th census of China's communist history.
It took 10 days, from November 1, to interview 350 million families and five more days to check the figures.
Initial results will be established in February 2001, but it will take more than two years to analyze all the information from the questionnaires -- BEIJING (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)