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Salaries in SOEs sky high somewhere, very low elsewhere   2012-02-14 - Tien phong

Workers in some state owned enterprises (SOEs) can get very high monthly salaries, even though their enterprises take loss. Meanwhile, the salaries of laborers of other SOEs are so low that they cannot live on the

Banks live in comfort

Vietnam now has five state owned banks, including Vietcombank, Vietinbank, BIDV, Agribank and Mekong Housing Bank. A recent survey of the Party Committee of the central businesses found out that in 2010, the workers in the banking sector got the highest income, which was even higher than that of the workers of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

The finance report of Vietcombank in 2011 shows that the average income per capita of the bank was 22.4 million dong. The high income of Vietcombank’s officers came from the high pretax profit of 5900 billion dong of the bank in 2011. Meanwhile, the finance report of Vietinbank showed that an officer of the bank received 20.76 million dong on average.

By the end of the fourth quarter of 2011, Vietinbank had had 18,094 officers, an increase of 1000 officers from 2010. The total payroll in 2011 of the bank reached 4402 billion dong. Vietinbank’s pretax profit was 8105 billon dong, the highest level among banks.

As for BIDV, before making IPO (initial public offering), in 2010, the income per capita was 11.77 million dong. The income has increased after the equitisation.

Among the state owned economic conglomerates, PetroVietnam is leading in terms of the staff’s income. Phung Dinh Thuc, Chair of PetroVietnam, affirmed that the average income of PetroVietnam holding company was very high in 2011, at 16.2 million dong. Meanwhile, the average income of the whole conglomerate was over 10 million dong.

The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) ranks the second in terms of the staff’s salary. Every officer of the holding company got 13.7 million dong a month, while the income of office workers was double the figure.

The Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) paid 7.8 million dong a month on average to every worker.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), which is also a state owned group, had very low average income in comparison with other economic groups.

According to Le Tien Truong, Deputy General Director of Vinatex, the average income of an officer of the group was only 3.9 million dong a month.

Unreasonable regulations exist

In principle, SOEs, except the ones operating in the fields where the state takes control and defines the sale prices, must have the profits of the next years higher than that of the previous years to be able to increase salaries of staffs.

That explains why unprofitable businesses still can keep the salaries unchanged. EVN, for example, reportedly incurred the losses of trillions of dong in 2010 and 2011, but it still paid very high salaries to its staff, which has raised the strong opposition from the public.

Pham Minh Huan, Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) also said that people asked to take a probe over EVN’s pay mechanism, because the group continuously proposes to raise the electricity price, continuously reports losses, but still pays high to workers.

Also because of the regulation, a lot of banks try to “conceal” their profits. If they announce profits and cannot obtain higher profits in the next years, they will not be allowed to increase salaries.

Regarding the salaries of state owned banks’ officers, an official of the Ministry of Finance said that the banks ask for “a special mechanism” which allows paying high salaries to workers, reasoning that the low pay will not retain qualified officers.

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