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Pagoda-goers during work hours penalised

Update: February, 24/2017 - 15:38
Going to temples and pagodas at the beginning of the new year is a cherished tradition of Vietnamese people, however, public servants are absolutely banned from visiting religious places during work hours. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Several officers found visiting pagodas during work hours were imposed with various levels of penalties on Thursday by the disciplinary council under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), showing a more hard-line stance on ensuring right conducts of State employees.

Specifically, Bùi Quang Hưng, Director of the Export Supporting Centre (under the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency), will have his salary scale and coefficient cut back a notch. Seven other officials of the centre will receive disciplinary warnings, while two other employees will receive official reprimands.

The five-member council’s decision came after a meeting held three days ago, chaired by MoIT’s Deputy Minister Trần Quốc Khánh, in which, in-the-wrong civil servants and officials had a chance to report in detail their misconducts and express regret.

The council, established earlier this month, is unanimous in its condemnation of the head of the centre for “serious violation” of labour discipline, law on cadres and civil servants, and other related directives and regulations.

However, the council also “recognised the sincerity and repentance” of Hưng, who had not made excuses for his wrongdoings and had been willing to accept more stringent disciplinary actions than recommended.

The incident was reported by the local media on February 7 – five days after Tết (Lunar New Year) holidays ended and people started getting to work. The temple confirmed that a group of officials from the Export Supporting Centre had visited the place of worship. At the same time, about 10am, phone calls made to departments in the centre went unanswered.

The MoIT ordered agencies involved to verify the report, and the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency then confirmed its veracity.

Earlier, on February 2, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc issued a document requesting ministries and localities to work hard and avoid post-Tết indulgences and slacking off following the holiday, which has been a long-standing malaise affecting State agencies, drawing the ire of the public.

As per the PM’s instruction, public servants are not allowed to attend festivals or visit pagodas during working hours or use public cars for such activity, except when performing legitimate duties. They are also banned from holding parties during work hours. — VNS


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