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Civil servants offered chance to be entrepreneurs | Updated: 2013-07-10 12:37

Civil servants are being encouraged to start their own businesses in China's Anhui province without being worried about job-generated welfare.

Civil service jobs, once termed "iron rice bowls" in China because of guaranteed job security, now have the chance to break the status quo and seek their own entrepreneurial dreams.

The province issued the new policy on Tuesday allowing two groups of civil servants to try their luck in the business world while their positions are reserved for a number of years. Civil servants either need to have worked for at least 20 years and still have up to five years to go before retirement or straight 30 years.

Public-sector institutions are required to reserve the positions for three years after the human resources department gives them the green light, while universities and research institutes will reserve the positions for six years after faculties get the approval to turn their research into business opportunities. They can go back to their reserved jobs if they decide to put an end to their business adventure.

They will be offered a lump sum of compensation worth three years of basic salary in total.

Discussions over the policy have been heated, with some questioning whether it would turn out to be a white elephant.

Entry-level public employees, instead of the seniors, should qualify for the policy since they are more willing to try an adventure at a young age, said an entry-level civil servant surnamed Chu who works in Hefei, Anhui province.

The seniors, despite having all the connections to start a successful business, don't have good reasons to take risks, Chu added.

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