High wages earn state managers low marks after dismal returns

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 April, 2002, 12:00am

Government officials in Shenzhen have criticised the managers of the city's state-owned enterprises as grossly overpaid in the wake of disappointing earning results from the firms, an official survey has found.

With a 300,000 yuan (about HK$281,000) annual salary, state managers earn more than 10 times the pay packets of the city's average residents at about 25,000 yuan and three times that of Shanghai residents.

The findings from the Shenzhen State Asset Management Office came after a survey of 41 state-owned enterprises in the city last year.

The salary of state managers could top one million yuan a year, the survey found, an enviable level even in Hong Kong.

Jia Heting, director of the Shenzhen State Asset Management Office, was quoted by the Southern Metropolis News as saying that the level of salaries for state managers was too high compared with the poor performance of their enterprises.

Most of Shenzhen's state-owned enterprises lost or made little money, according to Mr Jia.

He cited the tourist industry as an example, saying state companies owned the city's best resorts, but few had turned them into profitable operations.

Mr Jia said many executives at state-owned enterprises drove company cars, lived in subsidised housing and spent lavishly on entertainment.

Mr Jia suggested that the salary level for loss-making state-owned enterprises should not exceed the average income level for residents, and that pay packets should decrease if the economic performance of the enterprise suffered, South Metropolis News reported.

The Shenzhen People's Congress also suggested postponing plans to give 500,000 yuan in bonuses to key executives at state-held firms.

'The salary level of these executives is very high already, considering that the performance of these enterprises is not satisfactory, there is no need to issue a bonus,' a committee report said.

Meanwhile, the congress has questioned the legality of a HK$94 million investment in a Hong Kong company.

The money was said to have not been included in last year's budget for state assets.