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Plans to raise power charges denied
Updated: 2004-11-15 16:45

China had no plans to raise electricity charges despite tight power supply during the winter months, the State Development and Reform Commission said.

"It is understood that the State Development and Reform Commission has no current plan for significant readjustment of household electricity prices," said a statement on the commissioní»s Web site.

It said recent Chinese media reports about an impending rise were inaccurate, reported Shenzhen Daily.

Xinhua News Agency said separately that the commission was urging efficient management of electricity to ensure that supplies to households, agricultural producers and other key industries are not affected this winter and next spring.

Electricity supply must be suspended for industries that do not comply with State policies or those which are power-intensive and highly polluting.

Beijing raised its power prices by 0.04 yuan (US$0.0049) per kilowatt hour to 0.48 yuan Wednesday, representing an average monthly increase of nearly five yuan per household.

China faces growing power shortages mainly due to strong economic growth. Some 24 provincial areas were forced to ration power through brownouts during the summer months.

Premier Wen Jiabao has called on all local governments to treat the control of electricity demand as a top priority, demanding that consumption by power-intensive but low-efficiency industries be tightly restricted.

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