March 22, 2018 / 9:29 AM / a year ago

China's Hunan province to free up natural gas prices for vehicles from April 1

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s central province of Hunan from April 1 will no longer set prices for natural gas used by vehicles, state-run Hunan Daily said, the latest region to fall in line with years-long Beijing-led reforms and start liberalizing its gas market.

Hunan appears to be the first province to introduce such a scheme on a province-wide basis, although official statements show Datong city in Shanxi province and some cities in Inner Mongolia have launched similar programs in recent months.

Taxi drivers in Hunan are worried about a surge in prices once the government frees them, the paper said. The regional government will still set prices for residential gas.

The local government will also keep watch on the compressed natural gas (CNG) market to prevent major price swings, it said.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Josephine Mason; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Tom Hogue

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