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China to reduce more price controls on gov't catalog

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, May 6 (Xinhua) -- China will further lift controls on the prices of commodities and services, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday.

Since the previous government price catalog in 2001, nearly 46 percent of the categories and 80 percent of items have seen reductions, said Xu Kunlin, NDRC price department head.

The proposed revised catalog will limit price controls to just 7 major categories -- natural gas, water supply, electricity, special medicines and blood, important transportation services, postal services and certain professional services.

According to the proposed catalog, the gate station price of natural gas at the the provincial-level and below, prices of water supply in major water conserve projects, prices of power transmission and distribution in national and provincial-level regions, as well as prices of professional services such as bank card fees and the required education certificate check for graduates of overseas universities, will be in the hands of the central government.

The new price catalog was opened to public comment from Wednesday for a period of two weeks.

China has gradually relaxed its grip on medicine, tobacco, civil explosion materials and equipment, telecom services, rail services and military products, Xu said.

Since the economic and social reform blueprint was unveiled in November 2013, China has taken steady steps to let the market decide as much as it could, in an effort to stimulate market vitality and ensure fair competition. The government's price control has been limited within major public utilities and services.

The price fixing catalog of the State Planning Commission and the State Council, effective since 2001, includes the prices of 13 kinds of commodities and services which were decided and regulated by the central government.

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