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China eyes standard pricing mechanism for monopolized sectors by 2020

Updated: Sep 1,2017 7:55 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will establish a scientific, standardized and transparent pricing mechanism for monopolized sectors by 2020, the country’s top economic planner said on Sept 1.

The pricing system should allow “reasonable profits” for businesses, according to a guideline released by the National Development and Reform Commission.

Major monopolized industries include power transmission and distribution, natural gas pipelines and railway transport.

The guideline specified the timetable for the reforms, with an aim to expanding the improved system to all monopolized industries by 2020.

Jing Chunmei, researcher at China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said the timetable showed government resolve for faster reform in the area.

In recent years, the government has moved in gradual steps to advance pricing reforms in monopolized sectors to allow the market to play a bigger role.

According to a plan released in May, China encourages gas companies to split sales and pipeline businesses in a step by step manner to move toward market-based pricing.

The pricing of fuel and diesel should also be more market-oriented, while government should step in when abnormal price fluctuations occur, according to the plan.