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China slims down government pricing catalogue

Updated: Oct 21,2015 4:31 PM     Xinhua

China’s top economic planner published the revised central government pricing catalogue on Oct 21, which cut items subject to price controls by 80 percent as part of efforts to allow the market a bigger role.

The new catalogue will take effect in 2016, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The catalogue now contains 7 categories, including natural gas and electricity, down from the previous 13 categories. Specific pricing of items have been downsized from 100 to 20, the planner said.

Deputy head of the NDRC Hu Zucai said the revision is aimed at scaling back government intervention and letting the market play a bigger role in the pricing mechanism.

The State Council set a timetable for reforms to the country’s pricing mechanism earlier this month, with a target to lift price controls for almost all goods and services in competitive sectors by 2017.

By 2020, China should have a sound pricing mechanism in which the market plays a decisive role, rational and transparent pricing regulation and a well-enforced anti-monopoly law, according to the State Council.

Pricing reform has moved swiftly in recent years, with price controls over medicine, telecommunications and transportation relaxed.

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