China will increase grain and edible oil supplies, monitoring rising food prices and strengthening market supervision and management ahead of the Spring Festival national holiday, said a senior official in an Internet interview on Thursday.
Wang Jinjie, head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) markets division, said on the central government site, www.gov.cn., that market supplies of grain and edible oil were guaranteed.
"The market order is stable and there is no need for panic," said Wang, adding that anyone who violated consumers' rights and disrupted the market would be severely punished according to industry and commerce regulations.
He said some vendors were still profiteering by "illegally driving up food prices and hoarding goods" before and during Chinese New Year holiday -- less than two weeks away.
"We are closely watching the promotion activities of supermarkets and shopping malls, such as the limited time or quantity offers, in case low-cost food and edible products of cheap or substandard quality enter the market."
Consumers can complain and report on products or services through a nationwide hotline number of 12315, Wang said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2008)