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Payments for SOE executives relatively high: analyst

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Salaries for executives of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) can reach ten times the wage of China's vice-minister level civil servants, one analyst has found.

Some executives were paid more than 1 million yuan (163,934 U.S. dollars) annually, much higher compared to other government appointed positions, said Liu Xuemin, head of the Institute for Labor and Wages Studies under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

In some cases SOE executives were paid more than major executives of companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, he said.

The average payment for an executive at a Shanghai or Shenzhen listed company came to 763,000 yuan in 2013, while salary-levels for all executives of listed companies averaged to 461,000 yuan, Liu said.

Compared to an average taken from executives working at private companies in the 30 developed economies under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, salaries for SOEs executives are generally lower.

Liu noted executives in the listed companies can hold stakes as incentives which are not available for the SOE executives, and as civil servants, SOE executives can enjoy benefits in health care, pension and housing, he said.

Meanwhile, the gap between the payment for SOE executives and the public is growing steeper, he added.

When the SOE executives were first paid in annual salaries in the early 1990s, they got about 120,000 yuan annually on average, about ten times of that for urban workers, but now some have annual payment up to 30 times of the average incomes of urban workers, Liu said.

The annual payment for urban employees in the non-private sector averaged 51,474 yuan in 2013, according to the ministry.

The top leadership of the Communist Party of China approved plans on Friday to cut hefty salaries for executives of large SOEs.

Most SOE executives will see their payments shrink, Qiu Xiaoping, Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, said on Tuesday.

China has thousands of SOEs, 113 of which are directly administered by the country's central authority. The central government also urged locally-administered SOEs to follow suit.

Statistics showed the average annual salary of executives at centrally administered SOEs ranged from 650,000 to 700,000 yuan in 2010 and 2011.

In addition to high salaries, many top executives at major SOEs carry a vice-ministerial or ministerial-level ranking that brings them so-called "invisible income" such as transportation and communication allowances and other material benefits.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140902/payments-soe-executives-relatively-high-analyst