Cadres banned from taking up social posts
The northeastern province of Liaoning has banned cadres from taking up leading posts in social organisations, including various trade associations, in an attempt to streamline the much-criticised government bureaucracy.
The move follows approval of a massive central government restructuring plan at the recent annual meeting of the National People's Congress.
A directive jointly issued by the Communist Party's organisation department in Liaoning and the provincial Civil Affairs Department said the ban was part of an overhaul of government-sanctioned social organisations and covered all officials at county level or above, Xinhua reported.
Zhang Keyu , deputy director of the Civil Affairs Department, said the phenomenon of Communist Party and government officials doubling as leaders of trade associations and other groups had 'hampered the healthy development of social organisations'.
But Wang Ming , director of Tsinghua University's NGO Research Institute, said the ban - which will not be applied to incumbent officials, 'under extremely special conditions' - would be difficult to implement.
'It is in the right direction of Beijing's efforts to build a service-oriented and efficient government, which should have been done a long time ago,' Professor Wang said.
The State Council's General Office issued a similar edict last year urging civil servants throughout the country to step down from their roles in social organisations.
A 2004 survey by the Ministry of Civil Affairs found that 36 per cent of top posts in nearly 1,700 national social organisations registered with the ministry were occupied by government cadres.
The impartiality of those organisations has been widely questioned due to the involvement of government officials.
Direct government links in trade associations have also been blamed for exacerbating official corruption.