Low pay and lack of a sense of achievement are the key reasons behind employees leaving the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), Chinese experts said Tuesday after the anti-graft watchdog warned of serious problems with staff turnover.
In a notice in July, the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection identified problems in recruitment and sustaining talent at the ministry.
The commission released findings from its first round of disciplinary inspections on orders from the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee.
"Daily supervision was weak and the turnover serious," the notice said. "Meanwhile, work on grass-roots Party construction was not strict."
The inspection targeted Party organizations in 14 provincial-level regions, eight central government agencies including the Ministry of Commerce, and eight State-owned companies including the China National Nuclear Corporation.
Ten cities at the sub-provincial level were also included, the commission website said.
"Some of my colleagues left because the salary in the ministry was very low," a ministry staff member told the Global Times on condition of anonymity. "We are always on standby and often work overtime."
Some officials left "for better pay and opportunities," said Zhang Xixian, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing.
Maybe that wasn't such a bad thing, Zhang told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"The turnover of new employees could inject fresh blood into the civil service," he said.
More than 10,000 government workers quit their jobs in the three weeks after the Chinese New Year holiday in February 2015, an increase of 34 percent over the same period in 2014, according to a survey by Chinese job-search website Zhilian Zhaopin.
They mainly sought jobs in the real estate, internet and finance industries, the survey showed.
In May last year, China issued a notice stipulating that higher-level officials who quit their job are banned from working at companies under the administration of their previous departments within three years. Lower-level officials who quit their job are prohibited from working in companies or organizations related to their previous work within two years.
"The regulation aims to prevent officials from using their power to profit," Zhang said.
The anonymous employee said the number of those leaving was not large compared with the total number of workers in the ministry.
From 2008 to 2017, a total of 152 employees left the ministry, according to employee lists published on the ministry website, China Economic Weekly reported.
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