GUANGDONG will start provincial government reform next year by drastically cutting huge numbers of cadres from its government payroll. Guangdong Governor Lu Ruihua said on the fringe of the National People's Congress that all provincial governments were required to start simplifying their structures and start cutting back on cadres next year. The central Government is due to complete its own restructuring by the end of this year. 'This is a reform initiated by the top. The reform will be started at central level and pushed all the way to local level. Local government reform will follow the design of the State Council,' he said. Mr Lu declined to say how many cadres and provincial government departments would be cut but said the scale was 'very big' and the timetable was 'faster' than many people expected. It has been rumoured that tens of thousands of Guangdong cadres could be cut. Provincial leaders from northeastern industrial provinces have urged Beijing to postpone local government reforms. However, Mr Lu said Guangdong had enough jobs to relocate government cadres. 'Although we have three to four million laid-off local workers, we have at the same time provided jobs for seven million migrant workers. It is a matter of whether people are willing to take up certain jobs,' he said. 'There will be strong resistance from cadres but we will persistently push through the reforms.' He said cadres who lose their jobs should not be labelled as 'laid-off' 'We are just 'diverting' them to non-government sectors. Some of them can become teachers,' he said. 'Most of these cadres have good educational backgrounds. It would be unfair to let them stay in government units which are doing no good to the Government.' He said many provincial officials had been selected from firms and it was natural to let them return to these companies. In previous restructuring reforms, there had been cases where under-performing cadres stayed in their jobs while talented ones were got rid of because of loose screening processes and corruption. Mr Lu said Guangdong would be careful in its selection process to ensure the best cadres stayed. He also denied that Guangdong had a thorny relationship with Beijing. 'The appointment of Li Changchun, a Politburo member, to Guangdong as provincial party secretary by the central Government aimed to show Beijing's high recognition of Guangdong,' Mr Lu said. 'There is no intention to 'rein in' Guangdong.'