Ministry of Truth: Gas and Diesel Prices to Rise
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Central Propaganda Department: On September 24, the National Development and Reform Commission will announce plans to upgrade petroleum products. The media must use authoritative news sources for their reports. Do not play up or overanalyze the story. (September 23, 2013)
In an effort to cut air pollution, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has announced plans to increase the quality and cost of fuel: automobile gas will cost an additional 290 yuan (USD47) per ton, while diesel will rise 370 yuan (USD60) per ton. Global Times reports:
A gradual rise in accordance with local conditions is advised by the NDRC, which said in the statement local authorities are allowed to decide on different price hike strategies based on the national policy.
Stressing that the price hike decision was made after comprehensive investigations and audits of upgrading costs by relevant government agencies and oil companies, the NDRC said needy people and the non-profit sector will gain subsidies from the central coffer.
The taxi industry will be offered financial help as well before the implementation of taxi fare adjustments.
The increase cost will cover higher production costs for cleaner fuel, according to a Xinhua report.
Consumers are feeling pinched by continuously rising fuel prices, write Phoenix columnist Wuxia Ameng [zh]. “Just like there’s ‘no free lunch,’ the NDRC, naturally, cannot upgrade fuel quality for free. The NDRC needs to justify these changes and take the high ground to put consumers at ease about footing the bill” (古谚云“天下没有免费的午餐”，自然，发改委也不会有免费的油品质量升级。好一个优质优价原则，让发改委涨价师出有名，站在道义的制高点上让消费者心安理得的买单).
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The original publication date on CDT Chinese is noted after the directives; the date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.