High price for jobs but reforms a success

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 May, 1997, 12:00am

Reforms to state-owned enterprises have been declared a huge success by officials in Liaoning province despite the accompanying surge in redundancies.

Zhao Xinliang, director of the Liaoning Provincial Planning Commission, did not reveal this year's layoff figures - but records showed that more than 420,000 workers in five main industrial cities were either made redundant or resettled elsewhere last year.

Mr Zhao said state reforms in the province had helped boost pre-tax revenue of state enterprises to more than 40 billion yuan (HK$37.35 billion), 14 per cent up from the previous year.

The provincial Government has chosen petroleum, metallurgy, machinery and electronics as key industries for development running up to the year 2000.

Thirty-eight state-owned enterprises falling into these categories, including the Anshan Iron and Steel Works and the Panjin Ethylene Works, have been chosen as the pacesetters.

Some 140 billion yuan of investment would be allocated to build 200 key projects soon, Xinhua (the New China News Agency) quoted Mr Zhao as saying.

Selected provincial companies, including Anshan Iron and Steel, Panjin Ethylene and the Shenyang-Dalian Expressway, would speed up their overseas listing plans to raise foreign cash.

During the province's reforms some state-owned enterprises formed 32 conglomerates to strengthen their market competitiveness.

Reforms will also affect smaller state enterprises in the province.

'To help smaller firms gear to the market economy, the provincial Government has introduced the share-holding system in 80 per cent of medium and small enterprises,' Mr Zhao said.