China to conduct checks of agriculture-related prices in rural regions

20:25, February 17, 2011      

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China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Thursday ordered local governments to conduct checks on agriculture-related prices in rural areas and to crack down on price manipulation.

Local authorities will carry out price inspections, running from March 1 to the end of May, in order to discover illegal practices such as price manipulation and charging of extra fees in the countryside, a statement on the NDRC's website said.

The inspections, looking at price data dating back to Jan. 1, 2010, will focus on checking the price of water for irrigation use, electricity, and fertilizers, the statement said, adding that local governments must crack down on illegal practices that hurt farmers' rights.

The statement did not specify the methods local governments could employ to stop the illegal practices.

Local governments were also ordered to strengthen supervision over circulation of farm produces, and to strictly crack down on market manipulation that pushes prices of agricultural products higher, the statement said.

Further, prices of gas, medicines, construction materials, and fees for telecommunication and television services will also be inspected in the rural areas, so to prevent farmers' rights from being violated through higher prices or "forced fees."

Source: Xinhua
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