Days of Liquid Lunch Are Numbered

In China, lunch meetings are often a time to conduct business over food and drinks. A year after Henan officials were banned from lunchtime libations, the province’s alcohol industry is fighting back, claiming that as a result, it has suffered financial losses. The Shanghai Daily reports:

Alcohol producers in Henan Province have retained a lawyer to appeal a controversial government document that bans officials from drinking alcohol at lunch during work days.

Kang Yinzhong, a lawyer retained by the Henan Alcohol Association, said that drinking was a private affair and public office shouldn’t keep someone from consuming alcohol as long as it did not affect their work.

A party official cites that the ban has saved the government considerable amounts of money.

Wang Tie, the Communist Party chief of Xinyang, initiated the ban and said that he stood behind it. It had reduced expenses and was good for officials’ health, he said.

In the first half of last year, the city saved 43 million yuan (US$5.97 million) because of the ban, Wang added.

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