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Agencies tighten price supervision
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-11 01:16

The National Development and Reform Commission has called on price supervision administrations across the country to make the prices of goods and services more clearly known to the public.

The move will further protect the public interest and make the work of governmental departments more transparent, according to a newly-released commission circular.

In China, most prices of goods and services are decided by market forces and only a few, such as water and electricity -- essential to daily life -- are controlled by government.

Price supervision administrations must publish standards for fees collected and use hotlines for reporting price violations.

They also publish bulletins, issuing price pamphlets, newspapers, and employ radio,television, and electronic screens.

Back in 2001, the commission entrusted regional price watchdogs to oversee prices for seeds, fertilizers and other agricultural goods, in order to further minimize farmers' financial burdens.

To date, counties and villages in the country's 90 per cent of provinces, municipalities or autonomous regions have all set up additional supervision agencies. This has helped reduce inconsistent fees collected in rural areas, according to the commission's price regulators.

The commission and regional price supervision departments had done a lot of work to slash price violations over the past two years.

Last year, price watchdogs across the country focused on investigating charges of education, mainly in primary and middle schools.

In 2002 alone, the commission and its provincial branches handled a total of 287,168 price violation cases, involving such areas as education, drugs and medical services, real estate and corresponding management, traffic prices on holidays, price disputes of travel and electricity price in rural areas.

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