8 February 2010 | Helen Gilbert
The Chinese government saved close to 2 billion yuan (£188.06 million) in 2009 through improved purchasing, state media service Xinhua has reported.
Despite increasing the government purchasing budget by 1.8 billion yuan (£169.3 million) to more than 14.7 billion yuan (£1.38 billion) in the same period, the government said it was making the money go further.
Centralised procurement helped government departments make “remarkable progress” in cutting spending last year, Chen Jianming, a director at the government procurement centre said at a conference in Beijing.
For example, the centre made savings on vehicle purchasing, where the amount spent on vehicles fell by 35 per cent in 2009 compared to the previous year.
Chen said purchases would continue to focus on energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, innovative and domestic products. The procurement centre would support small and medium-sized companies in future contracts, he added.
Last month, the Chinese government proposed to ban buyers from awarding deals to family members under measures to reform procurement rules.