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China moves to cut farm produce distribution costs

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The State Council, China's cabinet, recently issued a circular asking local authorities to ensure the implementation of a range of measures aimed at cutting logistics costs for farm produce amid climbing food prices.

The measures include lowering electricity and water usage fees for those engaged in the production and distribution of farm produce, cutting administrative fees at markets, facilitating the transportation of farm produce and reducing taxes on major products.

The new pricing systems for electricity and water usage should be implemented before June 30 this year, the circular said.

The recent policy came amid rising farm produce prices in China. Prices of such products rose for the 11th straight week during the seven days ending Jan. 13, statistics from the Ministry of Commerce show.

The rise in food prices, mainly caused by an unusually cold winter, has contributed to a pick-up in China's inflation, as food prices account for about one-third of the weighting in the calculation of the consumer price index (CPI).

China's CPI grew 2.5 percent year on year in December, the fastest pace since June.

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