Provincial governments will get more flexibility in pricing
everyday goods under an NDRC policy announced yesterday.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) policy
comes after the central government began intervening in six
categories of everyday goods on Jan 15, amid rising inflationary
"Local governments can take flexible measures to decide which
items should be monitored and controlled," Zhou Wangjun, deputy
director of the NDRC's pricing department, said yesterday.
Provincial governments have been urged to monitor and control
prices of grain products, edible oil, pork, beef, mutton, milk,
eggs and liquefied petroleum.
"They can add more items to the list or delete some in line with
their own situation," said Zhou. "The provincial governments have a
better understanding of their local markets."
The nation is facing rising prices in many areas, which has
driven the CPI higher by over 6 percent in five consecutive
The edible oil price has risen an average 58 percent
year-on-year in November, while pork, beef and mutton have
increased 48 percent, 46 percent and 51 percent compared with the
same period last year.
Zhou said prices would continue rising for some time, even with
intervention. "All the measures are temporary and the basic
solution is to ensure supply of necessities."
The measures follow a revised regulation against price
manipulation. The new rule, effective from Sunday, raises the
maximum fine to 1 million yuan - almost triple the old penalty -
for those who manipulate market prices and ignore government
The State Council and local governments can set profit ratios or
price ceilings for key goods and services when prices rise too
sharply, under the new rule.
As Spring Festival draws near, the central government has urged
all Party and government heads to stabilize prices in their
(China Daily January 18, 2008)