State Council's inter-agency task force briefing on ensuring services and supplies to people who stay put during the Spring Festival holiday

The State Council's inter-agency task force held a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday to brief the media about the circular on how to ensure services and supplies to people who stay put during the Spring Festival holiday. January 28, 2021

China Central Television:

As people are advised to stay where they work during the Spring Festival holiday, will this impact the supply and prices of daily necessities as well as energy supply? While strictly continuing epidemic prevention and control measures, what steps will be taken to meet people's daily needs? Thank you.

Zhao Chenxin:

I will take this question. Thank you. I think it will have little effect on the supplies of daily necessities and energy. No matter where we are, our needs for basic necessities and energy remain the same. However, as people celebrate the Spring Festival in the places where they work, the regional demand structure will change accordingly. The NDRC has been working with other related departments in a series of online meetings to come up with various measures to ensure supplies and price stability during the Spring Festival holiday. We have also established many cross-departmental working groups to closely monitor the situation, develop an early warning system, ensure production and market supply, and put reserves into the market if needed. We will also focus our work on the following five aspects to ensure that people can celebrate the holiday with sufficient supplies.

First, we will make coordinated efforts to ensure production and supplies. We will help large and medium-sized cities coordinate vegetable production, especially the popular fast-growing leafy greens and sprouts during the Spring Festival, facilitate the shipment of pork and other meat products, and ensure smooth trans-regional logistics as well as sufficient supplies in the market. We will also guarantee the supply of coal, electricity, oil and gas.

Second, we will precisely adjust reserves. We have done a lot of work in this regard in recent years. We will help local authorities to adjust and enrich their reserves of major necessities, continue to release frozen pork from central reserves, organize major northern cities to release their winter and spring vegetables reserves, and put into market small packaged grains and cooking oil in a timely way depending on the situation. We will also coordinate the distribution and deployment of gas and electricity, and increase the coal reserves in major regions and among power plants.

Third, we will ensure unimpeded shipment and logistics. Mr. Wang Yang from the Ministry of Transport has talked about their work arrangements. I would like to add that while implementing epidemic prevention and control measures, we have been working with other departments to help local authorities adjust and improve transportation management, clear traffic blockages, encourage logistics and delivery companies to increase their manpower and shipment capacity, to guarantee the normal shipment of products purchased via e-commerce platforms, and ensure that people's normal life won't be affected.

Fourth, we will seek to guarantee normal marketing channels. We will guide agricultural product wholesale markets, farmers' markets, grocery stores, and e-commerce platforms that sell fresh products to better manage their supplies. Currently, these businesses are restocking before the holiday. Moreover, we also encourage community-based sales outlets to open for no less than eight hours every day during the Spring Festival holiday.

Fifth, we must guarantee people's basic livelihoods. We will urge local governments to continue the practice of increasing social security assistance and benefit payments in step with price increases, and in a timely way initiate and provide in full temporary price subsidies. We will work with market regulators to strengthen market inspections, punish behavior like hoarding, profiteering and price collusion, and safeguard market order and stability.

Through these measures, we believe that people's needs for daily necessities and energy will be guaranteed. I'm sure people will be able to celebrate the new year with no worries. Thank you.

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