Firms to feel tighter party grip
By WILLY WO-LAP LAM
THE Communist Party is boosting its control over the selection of personnel to head large and medium-sized state enterprises.
And the leadership of the 100 units designated by the State Council as 'pilot zones for a modernised enterprise system' will shortly be reshuffled and 'strengthened'.
The party Organisation Department, the State Economic and Trade Commission and the Personnel Ministry yesterday issued a national circular on 'strengthening the construction of the leadership corps of state enterprises'.
The circular deplored the fact that the senior staff of some state concerns 'do not have a high quality in politics and management'.
'Their leadership ability is not strong, making it difficult for them to meet the requirements for developing a socialist market economy,' it said.
Communist Party committees and governments at all levels were asked to give priority to the selection and propagation of strong managers and party functionaries for state enterprises, it added.
The circular called upon party and government authorities to change the leadership teams of those enterprises if the losses incurred by the units were due to mismanagement or other mistakes of senior staff.
It added that periodic checks needed to be made on the performance of management teams nationwide to forestall losses and to root out problems including corruption and dereliction of duty.
The leadership corps of the 100 'pilot' enterprises will be reshuffled before the end of the year.
'In readjusting the leading corps of enterprises, the first thing is to select the right factory director and the secretary of the party committee,' the circular said.
Economic analysts in the capital said the promotion of party and government control over personnel issues could be a setback for market reforms.
They said that the new stress on 'political qualifications' and on the functions of resident party committees could hurt the ability of enterprises to adopt international norms of doing business.
The analysts added that as market reforms became more entrenched in China, the business role of units such as the party's Organisation Department should be diminished, not strengthened.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong China News Agency reported yesterday that the State Assets Administration had promulgated eight new rules to guard against the loss of state property.
The internal regulations are aimed at preventing the loss of government assets when a wholly state-owned company is transformed into a share-holding company.
They stipulated that state assets and other holdings of a company must be clearly audited before it is allowed to undergo the transformation.
And a newly established shareholding company must identify a government department to exercise control over those shares that remain under state control.