No drinking during lunch, Tra Vinh civil servants told

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 Authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh have banned civil servants from drinking during lunch on work days, saying those who violate the rule could be fired, Tuoi Tre reported Thursday.  

According to a decision by the provincial People's Committee, the local government, officers at state offices, companies and military units are not allowed to drink during working hours and during lunch on work days. They are also no longer allowed to receive guest outside the office. 

The ban will take effect Saturday. 

The decision says those who violate the rules would be either reprimanded, warned, have their salary or rank downgraded, or be dismissed. 

The punishment will be implemented within one month of the violation, according to the plan. 

The violators' superior officers will also be punished, the decision said.  

In mid-March, the Party Unit chief of the north-central province of Quang Binh also conducted a surprise inspection, catching 15 employees of local agencies hanging out in local coffee shops during working hours.  

Luong Ngoc Binh said he would conduct more spot checks in other parts of the province, and "strictly" punish violators.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a government meeting last January that up to 30 percent of some 2.8 million public servants "do not bring any efficiency to their jobs," adding that leaders of ministries and government agencies need to make bold reforms within the public sector, where salaries are not based on merit, and recruitment continues to be plagued by corruption.

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