MORE than 100 enterprises in Shanghai have been chosen to try out a 'modern enterprise' system, Shanghai Communist Party Secretary Huang Ju said. According to Mr Huang, there will be better management of state assets and changes of the assets-liability ratios of state enterprises in the latest reform package. State enterprises will also be relieved much of their social responsibilities and the surplus workers who are displaced would be absorbed in a resettlement scheme. The Shanghai Government plans to complete the 'modern enterprise' reform programme in three years. A regulation to deal with the resettlement of workers displaced from these enterprises because of the reform has also been announced. While the new regulation encouraged the displaced workers to look for jobs in the free market, incentives will be available for firms which hire the superfluous labourers. Tax benefits would be given to those sideline businesses set up by enterprises to absorb workers who are laid off because of the reform. Workers are also encouraged to seek early retirement and those who opt for it will have their basic living requirements provided for. Top Chinese leaders were said to have instructed Shanghai to 'create a valuable experience' in the reform of the state sector so that it will be an example for other cities to follow. The top echelon is believed to have attached great importance to the Shanghai experiment and executive Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji inspected a number of state enterprises there about a fortnight ago. His visit followed a high-level conference in Beijing where top planners decided to give state enterprise reform the top priority in China's 1995 reform agenda. Informed sources said Chinese leaders would spell out their strategies for the reform of state enterprises in an upcoming national economic work conference. They said the discussions in the conference would likely include the details of the setting up of a national social insurance scheme to help absorb the social shock brought by the shake-up of the state industry. Former Shanghai party secretary Wu Bangguo, who was promoted to the Secretariat of the Communist Party's Central Committee, would be the chief commander behind the state enterprise reform programme, sources said.