China mulls law to cap prices in monopoly industries

Updated: 2010-08-03 08:51
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BEIJING - China's government could take powers to cap the prices of monopolized goods and services, according to a draft regulation issued Monday.

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council of China said the draft regulation on cost supervision and examination of goods and services priced by the government would be open to public submissions until September 1.

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In China, goods and services such as natural resources, public utilities and rare goods, are either priced by the government or by operators under government guidance, rather than through market competition.

The Price Law of the People's Republic of China stipulates that such goods and services must undergo cost supervision and examination.

However, the circular issued by the Legislative Affairs Office on its official website said ambiguities remained in the process of cost supervision and examinations, particularly specific items of "unreasonable" costs.

The circular said the government should examine the operating costs and cap prices of monopolized industries so as to better protect the interests of consumers.

The regulation specifies the authorities responsible for the work, principles and content of price supervision and examination, the process, and the legal liabilities of supervisors as well as operators.