Time to end monopoly of salt industry

Updated: 2014-11-20 15:12

By Li Yang(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Abolishing the old monopoly system of salt industry and business can serve the people and promote the development of the salt chemical industries in China, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

China will end the 2,000-year-old state monopoly of salt industry. The prices of all salt-related products will be decided by the market from 2016 and private investors can join the salt industry from 2017.

The reform aims to deal with the corruption in the monopoly industry and salt business.

Some salt products are priced much higher than their real value and production cost. The huge profit is taken by the middlemen in the monopoly sales system. The government cannot receive the profit, because the main revenue is from a fixed salt tax.

The consumers and salt chemical enterprises blame the government’s inaction and acquiescence with the huge profit earners.

The reform planner must be prudent in drafting the road map to end salt industry’s monopoly. The administration should not duty to supervise the food safety issue for edible salt, which directly concerns public health. Some private businesses may replace edible salts with cheaper industrial salts. Second, the reform should stop officials from turning State-owned assets to private property through illegal means under the pretense of market reform, a frequent question appearing in China’s reform of its State-owned enterprises.