NDRC to conduct nationwide check on utility prices

Inspection seeks to help cut the cost of living and ease burden of the Chinese  

The National Development and Reform Commission will conduct a nationwide inspection on prices of water, gas, heating and telecommunications from November 1, China's top planning agency said today.

The eight-month inspection, to end on June 30 next year, will overhaul rules on the pricing of water, gas and heating supply as well as sales and services of telecommunication companies, and monitor how they are implemented nationwide, the NDRC said.

Companies should not price water, gas and heating above the government's regulations. Telecom companies should mark prices clearly and are not allowed to show deceptive advertising to attract customers.

The inspection will cover cases that were mainly reported through the national 12358 price monitoring platform since 2016.

The inspection aimed to lower costs and ease the burden of the Chinese. The NDRC has saved 250 billion yuan (US$38 billion) of electricity expenses for Chinese citizens since 2015 by imposing measures such as cutting the income of power distribution companies.

Meanwhile the NDRC has helped cut 120 billion yuan of companies' gas expenses since 2013 by allowing the market to play a more decisive role in natural gas trading, according to its official website.

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