Beijing declares large surplus from 2008 Olympics

Beijing declares large surplus from 2008 OlympicsBeijing - China on Friday said it made a surplus of more than 1 billion yuan (146 million dollars) from hosting the 2008 Olympic Games despite spending far more than its original budget.

The Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG) had reported income of 20.5 billion yuan (3 billion dollars) and expenditure of 19.3 billion yuan (2.83 billion dollars) by March 15, leaving a provisional surplus of nearly 1.2 billion yuan, the semi-official China News Service quoted the National Audit Office as saying.

The auditors found no major problems of illegal or unauthorized use of funds, the agency said.

The income and expenditure figures were both far higher than those reported immediately after last year's games.

Wei Zizhong, the former head of the Chinese Olympic Committee, said last August that officials had underestimated some costs, such as those for security, and had spent some 40 per cent more than the budgeted 1.6 billion dollars.

Rising prices, especially for high-technology equipment, and shifting currency exchange rates also affected the budget, said Wei, who led the budget team for Beijing's bidding committee.

China also spent an estimated 40 billion dollars on infrastructure and other projects to prepare Beijing for hosting the Olympics, building several new subway lines and roads, and cleaning up the city's notorious air pollution. (dpa)