China abolishes powerful Railways ministry battle against corruption China abolishes powerful Railways ministry in battle against corruption Xi Jinping, who will be rubber-stamped as the country's new president this week, has vowed to streamline government, cut costs and boost bureaucratic efficiency. The Railways ministry, a Soviet-style behemoth responsible for transporting 1.7 billion passengers last year, was an obvious target. The ministry's 2.1 million workers may have been responsible for rolling out, since 2007, the world's largest and fastest high-speed rail network, but corruption has been rife. In 2011, Liu Zhijun, the minister at the time, was put under investigation for graft. One source who used to work inside the ministry revealed to The Daily Telegraph that the price for a train attendant's job is as much as Â£10,000. And the ministry has often been a law unto itself. Until last August, it operated its own courts and police force. Its budget, meanwhile, was greater than the official Defence budget last year, at 745 billion yuan (Â£74 billion). "In recent years, the railways have developed in leaps and bounds. But it doesn't link smoothly with other modes of transport, and there are other problems," said Ma Kai, the senior Party leader who announced the government shake-up. He added that, in general, much government work had been "left undone" or was "done messily, with abuse of power and corruption". He said some areas needed more management, while others suffered from "too many cooks in the kitchen". He added: "The administrative system still has many areas not suited to the demands of new circumstances and duties". Also part of the proposals are plans to fold the Family Planning Commission, which has strictly overseen the one-child policy, drawing criticism for its policy of forced abortions, into the Health ministry. It is not clear whether this will mean an immediate change to the one-child policy, but the Chinese government is openly discussing its population strategy, after the size of the working population, aged 15 to 59, fell by 3.45 million people to 937 million last year. A recently retired official from the Family Planning Commission told Reuters the merger may not mean the end of the one-child policy, but that "it's possible that there will be fewer things done by force." A new super-agency, mimicking the United States Food and Drug Administration, will also be created in order to tackle growing public fears over contaminated food and medicine. And there will be a single regulator for the press, publishers, television, film and radio. China's disputes with Japan in the East China Sea will also be affected by plans to merge the country's maritime agencies into a single body which will manage the coast guard, fisheries law enforcement and anti-smuggling operations. China has been trimming the size of its bureaucracy for years. In 1982, the number of Cabinet-level ministries and departments was cut from 100 to 61. In 1998 the number was cut to 29. The latest plan will reduce that further to 25. Mr Xi has promised to take on entrenched interests and to step up the pace of reform. This bureaucratic reshuffle should help to break up some power bases. However, analysts were unsure how many government officials would actually depart. In Guangdong province, several districts have pioneered the abolition of unnecessary local government departments. But shedding staff has been more difficult. One district managed to create a department with 19 deputy heads. China abolishes powerful Railways ministry in battle against corruption - Telegraph *************************************************** Xi Jumping appears to be a man who has a clear cut vision as to how China can progress through an efficient manner of governance. It is bound to upset many an important personage who has used the system to build his nest egg. However, the power that the Head of Govt and in this case, Xi Jumping has, will ensure that such people are brought down to size. However, will corruption really be erradicated? Maybe not,. But there is hope that it will bring corruption down.