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Chinese Local Governments Cut Non-Official Personnel to Reduce Expenditures amid Fiscal Pressures

Amid financial pressures, many local governments in China are reducing the number of non-official personnel to cut down on expenses. This move follows the release of the “Plan for the Reform of Party and State Institutions” by the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council in March 2021, which aimed to streamline personnel structures. Cities such as Harbin, Shiyan, Chuxiong, and Huizhou have started reducing non-official staff. Shiyan city in Hubei province reportedly saved around RMB 15 million (US$2.2 million) after removing 326 non-official personnel, which accounted for around 9 percent of total non-official staff. Chuxiong plans to reduce non-official personnel by 265, or around 6.5 percent, which would lead to a decrease of approximately RMB 3.6 million (US$0.5 million) in government expenditure.

The reduction in non-official personnel is expected to reduce the financial burden on local governments, including salaries, social security contributions, and medical insurance costs. Furthermore, since non-official personnel are not included in the official headcount, their qualifications and abilities can be uneven and they may not be able to handle all tasks. Therefore, cutting non-official staff could allow for more experienced personnel to handle affairs, leading to better government efficiency.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), April 11, 2023