China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Oct 8 that it will remove salt price restrictions starting next year.
The announcement stated that, from Jan 1, 2017, wholesale and retail prices of salt will be determined by producers based on their individual costs, quality, market supply and demands. Local governments and companies should prepare for the policy change, the statement advised.
According to the announcement, emergency measures will be taken if salt prices fluctuate abnormally or supplies become extremely tight. Residents of rural and impoverished areas will also receive government subsidies for salt.
The announcement requires strengthening supervision and inspection over salt prices, which will be aided by the price monitoring platform 12358. The platform will accept reports and complaints, investigate improper price-setting and maintain the order of the salt market. Customers can dial 12358 to report violations.
The removal of salt price control aims to encourage market competition and cross-regional sales.