June 28, 2020 / 10:32 AM / 18 days ago

China's state planner extends power price cut to boost economy

SHANGHAI, June 28 (Reuters) - China’s state planner said a policy to cut electricity prices by 5% will be extended until the year-end to aid companies struggling because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the early stage of China’s outbreak in February, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced measures to cut electricity prices from Feb. 1 to June 30.

NDRC said on Sunday companies will continue to enjoy lower prices between July 1 and Dec. 31, as the government works to lower companies’ operating costs and protect jobs.

“Under the current circumstances, relevant price regulators should fully understand the importance of reducing companies’ production and operating costs, and its role in protecting jobs, livelihood, and market entities,” NDRC said in a notice to its local agencies, as well as to major state power grid operators.

Profits at China’s industrial firms rose for the first time in six months in May, partly aided by easing cost pressures, the Chinese government said on Sunday. ($1 = 7.0255 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Emily Chow; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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