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China auditor says 3,000 punished for 2015 budget irregularities

BEIJING (Reuters) - More than 3,000 people have been punished and 160 billion yuan ($23.02 billion) in problematic funds "rectified" during an audit of last year's budget, China's top auditor said on Friday.

In a report sent to the country's largely rubber-stamp parliament, the National Audit office said most of the problems identified had already been fixed.

It did not give details of the 3,229 people who had been punished, but said in a separate statement some cases had been referred to the legal authorities, meaning they could be jailed rather than receive administrative punishments.

($1 = 6.9499 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)