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China eyes more market-oriented pricing mechanism by 2020

Updated: Nov 10,2017 6:37 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s top economic planner on Nov 10 released a guideline on deepening pricing reforms, with the aim to establish a more market-oriented, fair and transparent mechanism by 2020.

For the monopolized sectors, the government will gradually loosen its grip and allow producers “reasonable” room for profit, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Major monopolized industries include power transmission and distribution, natural gas pipelines and railway transport, in which the NDRC said it would conduct cost monitoring and supervision.

Jing Chunmei, researcher at China Center for International Economic Exchanges, hailed the move as a key breakthrough for the regulation of the monopolized sectors.

The guideline also specified pricing principles for public services such as medical treatment, green consumption, administrative fees and farm produce.

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 towards market-based pricing.

A report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has pledged to speed up the reform of market-based pricing of factors of production, relax control over market access in the service sector, and improve market oversight mechanisms.