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China Daily Website

'Iron rice bowl' ban served up in another city

Updated: 2012-09-17 15:14

Civil servants in one city in central China may lose their "iron rice bowl" under a pilot program to be launched this year, the Zhengzhou Evening News reported Monday.

Members of the civil service will be hired under contract rather than with a lifetime job guarantee, according to Zhengzhou Administration of Civil Servants.

The contract normally lasts one to five years, and whether it will be renewed will depend on their performances in the post, according to the new system, which was first adopted in 2007 by South China's Shenzhen city to increase competitiveness and efficiency in government agencies.

The program is also being mulled by other provinces such as Southwest China's Sichuan, East China's Jiangsu and Central China's Hubei.

"Iron bowl" or "iron rice bowl" are terms to describe a stable occupation for life in China, such as a civil servant.