A MAJOR wage reform programme is expected to be introduced in Guangzhou this year to boost the income of the six million urban residents as the Chinese Government struggles to contain inflation below 20 per cent. The proposed programme, likely to be introduced in June, will increase the basic salaries of most government cadres. The central Government postponed a plan to turn its 34 million cadres into civil servants over fears that the move would fuel inflation. Sources said that Guangzhou was wealthy enough to proceed with its scheme. Under the plan, the average take-home pay of government cadres would be raised to a level ''slightly higher than'' or ''at least on par'' with the amounts paid by enterprises of similar nature. A source said the basic wage of an average cadre could be increased to about 600 yuan (HK$532) a month, and a senior ranking official might receive more than 1,000 yuan a month. However, critics fear that lower-income groups and pensioners will continue to suffer as prices continue to rise.. Last year, the official inflation figure for Guangzhou was 24.1 per cent. The Government hoped to contain the figure at 15 per cent this year. Although city government officials admitted that prices had jumped 20 to 30 per cent since November, they claimed that the increases were still within the limits that the majority of Guangzhou residents could bear. ''The price hike last November was due to various reasons,'' said Liu Baoxiang, vice-director of the Guangzhou First Commercial Bureau. ''Changes of the exchange rates, abolition of the Foreign Exchange Certificates, rising prices of imported goods and some seasonal adjustments are all behind the price increases.