Govts Should Do More to Help People Deal with Rising Commodity Prices
    2010-11-28 19:14:43     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu Leiying
 

Commodity price hikes put strains on many ordinary people, especially for low income earners. Additionally, some local governments are mulling over utility charge increases such as electricity, natural gas and water.

In the midst of rising commodity prices and the impulse of local governments to raise utility fees, the National Development and Reform Commission or NDRC issued requirements that local governments must be prudent when raising utility charges and removing unnecessary administrative fees to ease the pressure of enterprises and ordinary people.

An editorial in the Beijing News notes that utility prices are regulated by governments; they can be stabilized through intervention. Agricultural products prices, however, are fully-liberalized. There is not much room for manipulating their prices, except for temporary administrative intervention or efforts to fight against speculation. Therefore, local governments should focus on reducing the logistic costs, a bulk share in the price composition of produces.

The article points out that local governments also need to fix the unnecessary administrative charges and curb discretionary fee collections. Equally important, NDRC should adopt corresponding supervisory measures, instead of letting local governments act their own way, unchecked.

The paper stresses whether these requirements and instructions could be translated into the people's well-being hinges upon how much sacrifice governments want to make. Can governments at all levels send out a reassuring message that commodities are important to people's lives to prevent another substantial price jump? Reducing administrative fees and giving subsidies to low income earners are just some of the seemingly effective measures governments can and should do to support citizens weathering this inflationary period.

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