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China to speed up natural resource price reforms

Source:   Time:

China will likely accelerate reforms of natural resource commodities pricing, according to a new proposal from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China Securities Journal reported Wednesday.

The State Council, China's cabinet, recently approved the NDRC proposal, which suggests that China act this year to enhance price reforms for electricity, water, oil and natural gas.

The distribution of electrical power by price mechanism is the first step. Despite the recent (increase in) inflation, related departments raised power prices because the power shortage pressure outweighs the short-term inflationary pressure. If inflation relents, the government will definitely speed up price reforms, industry analysts told the newspaper.

New price brackets for residential electricity will be implemented this year, the proposal stated.

"The resource price reform will begin from water this year, with a pilot program to make the cost of water resources transparent," an NDRC official, who was not named, told the newspaper.

The NDRC proposal also suggested that China should act quickly to reform oil product prices and establish a pricing mechanism for natural gas that reflects the relationship between supply and demand as well as the scarcity.

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