Songtao is a Miao autonomous county located in Tongren City, Guizhou Province, Southwest China. The county is actively exploring the development mode of integrating collective corporations, talent resources, and the village collective economy. Through forming the collective corporations at county, town, and village levels that strengthen communities and enrich the people, Songtao is building a long-term effective mechanism that involves counties, towns, villages, and all households. At the same time, Songtao is working with the Chunhui Service Center (CSC), a public service organization created by the Guizhou Provincial Committee of the Communist Youth League, which organizes university students to go to the countryside to support rural construction. The county effectively integrates CSC’s talent resources to provide intellectually strong support to guarantee the county's high-quality rural revitalization.
Strengthen team building to promote the development of the village collective economy
- A leadership team must be built through organizing the secretaries of the party branch organizations in each village (community). This team will become shareholders in the 27 village-level collective corporations, which should employ them as the company leadership. They will manage the development of the village collective economy, which helps the people to increase their income and wealth.
- Team building must include the management of the talent resources through adhering to the principle of prioritizing party members and selecting and recruiting people that have shown proficiency in business management. The county-level parent collective corporation and the town-level government must choose the talent who will become the chairman and legal counsel of the village-level collective corporations, while establishing a meritocratic ladder-type mechanism for choosing future leaders who will fill management positions.
- The technical team must be built by integrating the young CSC talent resources and employing them as the technical instructors on the developmental issues of agricultural production, village revitalization, and peasant living conditions in the village-level collective corporations. Songtao is fully committed to the role of scientific and technical talent.
Strengthen talent cultivation to lay a solid foundation for the development of the village collective economy
- Songtao searches for native talent in each village and provides skills development and technical training to accurately match the needs of different industries and projects. This can also drive the stable employment of this talent and achieve the goal of enhancing both its quality and quantity.
- The county-level parent collective corporation has developed strategic cooperation with Songtao University’s CSC, taking full advantage of their young talent and guiding them to conduct e-commerce business through Tik Tok, Taobao, and other such platforms. Since the beginning of this collaboration, more than 15,000 kilos of Songtao agricultural products have been sold, accounting for sales of 2.7 million yuan.
- The county makes full use of all the government levels’ skills training resources to strengthen the education of the secretaries in each village party organization, the legal personnel of village-level collective corporations, and other talent. The county carries out professional skills appraisals and issues corresponding certificates to the qualified people.
Strengthen the policy guarantee to accelerate the development of the village collective economy
- The party organization secretaries, village cadres, and management personnel who have made an outstanding contribution to promoting the development of the village collective economy, will receive an award of 20 percent of the village collective’s annual operating income, to further stimulate and inspire them.
- The county makes it clear that all the village-level collective corporations should operate independently and be responsible for their own profit and loss. According to the operating yield, project return rate, resource conversion rate, and other management measurements, these corporations are divided into three categories: excellent, good, and poor, and will be managed differently to achieve market-oriented development. Excellent corporations will be provided with more resources and their dividend, based on the shareholding ratio, will be increased by 10 percent. Good corporations will receive their standard dividend. Poor corporations’ share of the dividends will be reduced by 10 percent, and there will be a reorganization of their corporate board if they have had poor performance for three consecutive years.
- The county-level parent collective corporation coordinates and integrates the talent resources of each town and street. When necessary, it transfers suitable local people to these village-level corporations, which are lacking human resources, so as to promote the sharing of rural local talent, help industrial development, and realize an increase in the people’s income.
There are three models for appointing the Village Party Branch Secretary, the Chairman of the Village Committee, and the Director of the Collective Economic Organization. The first is one position per cadre, “separation of positions” (全分设); the second is two positions per cadre “double positions on one shoulder” (一肩双挑); and the third is three positions per cadre “triple positions on one shoulder” (三职一肩挑). Since October 2020, 491,000 Village Party Branch Committees and Village Committees nationwide have elected new cadre to fill leadership positions to better solve the problems faced by rural collective economic organizations.
Understanding the three appointment models of village cadres
- The "separation of positions” model (全分设) means that different cadres serve as the Village Party Branch Secretary, the Chairman of the Village Committee, and the Director of the Collective Economic Organization. This model can enhance mutual control and supervision among different grassroot organizations, safeguard the self-governance of villagers, and improve the efficiency of different grassroot works. The model of “double positions on one shoulder” (一肩双挑) means that one cadre serves as the Village Party Branch Secretary and the Chairman of the Village Committee simultaneously, while a second cadre serves as the Director of the Collective Economic Organization. It follows the policy of "separating politics and economics". However, disagreements and finger pointing occur under both models when multiple interests are at stake; thus, they fail to see the whole picture and to form a synergy between these interests.
- “Triple positions on one shoulder” (三职一肩挑) is an innovative model of village governance in the new era, in which one cadre is elected to all three positions. The Village Party Branch, who is the core of policy implementation, can effectively integrate village resources, improve decision-making, and promote the effectiveness of rural governance. However, proper measures still need to be implemented to protect villagers’ self-governance, avoid excessive concentration of power in one person, and conduct effective supervision.
Challenges of supervising cadres who are responsible for the “triple positions”
- With one person being responsible for all three positions, it can be a breeding ground for corruption that is hard to supervise and restrict. Inside the collective economic organization, village representatives may have a tendency to be weak in exercising their rights of disciplinary supervision and could remain inactive in general member and villager meetings.
- The Supervisory Committee of Village Affairs, in general, supervises the use of funds, assets, and resources in the rural collective economy. Independent supervision is hard to ensure when most directors of the collective economic organization are members of the village Party branches. Part of the supervisory boards of collective economic organizations’ responsibilities may become a mere formality when the management and use of village committee funds are not separate from collective funds.
How to strengthen the supervision of village cadres
- The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission should play the main role in directing the Party's development on its working style and anti-corruption policies and integrating the departments of civil and rural affairs, finance, and agriculture to enhance the guidance, supervision, and support for rural work.
- Supervision and management committees of rural collective assets, at all levels, should reinforce the review of major project investments, the use of funds, asset alterations, profit distributions, financial audits, and important personnel changes in rural collective economic organizations.
- The agricultural economic management station should comprehensively carry out the daily supervision and management of collective assets of towns and villages. The governance institutions of rural collective economic organizations should act in accordance with the law. Economic cooperatives are the mainstay of managing rural collective assets. The meeting mechanism of representative members, the board of directors, and the board of supervisors should also be established and perform their duties in accordance with the law.
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