Conflicts delaying reforms, says scholar

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 May, 1996, 12:00am

Inter-department conflicts have hindered the introduction of enterprise reform in China, a mainland scholar says.

After the central government selected 100 large state-owned enterprises for a pilot reform programme last year, the State Economic and Trade Commission and the State Commission for Restructuring the Economics System, both under the State Council, sought control over them. In the end, the State Economic and Trade Commission was placed in charge of reforming 70 enterprises, with the rest left to the State Commission for Restructuring the Economics System.

The scholar said the lack of a single authority to introduce enterprise reform was one of the reasons for its slow progress.

An official of the State Commission for Restructuring the Economics System said earlier the government would turn more firms into modern enterprises in the two years after studying the results of the pilot cases.

China has slated 2,100 state-owned enterprises - 100 by the central government and 2,000 by local governments - for the pilot reform programme.

Which department chooses firms for the pilot programme is also an issue.

Besides the two central departments fighting to expand their responsibilities, the state-asset management bureau also wants to have a say in choosing the pilot cases.

The scholar said there had been little progress in the restructuring of the 100 enterprises selected by the central government.

Many were still waiting for approval of their restructuring plans, he said.

Officials said about 50 per cent of the 200,000 large and medium-sized state enterprises were making losses.


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