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Top economic planner pledges pricing liberalization


Updated: 2015-03-06 21:18:48


BEIJING - The Chinese government will capitalize on stable inflation to reduce its controls on pricing this year, an official with the top economic planner said on Friday.

Price controls on pharmaceuticals and most professional services will be gradually removed, Shi Zihai, of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), pledged during an interview. Regions will be selected to pilot these reforms, he added.

Among its major tasks for 2015, the NDRC will publish a catalog detailing how and in what areas it controls pricing, in order to make this more transparent, while pricing reform in electricity, rail freight, water and natural gas "will be advanced", according to Shi.

The statement came after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged at the opening of the annual parliamentary session on Thursday that one of the government's main focuses this year will be cutting the number of categories of goods and services in which it usually sets prices.