China’s cabinet on Monday sharply increased penalties for price-fixing, expanding an anti-inflation campaign that has failed to cool a surge in politically sensitive food costs.
Food costs soared by 18.2 percent in November, pushing the overall monthly inflation rate to 6.9 percent, its highest level in 11 years.
Companies that hoard goods or try to fix prices can be fined up to 1 million yuan, or $130,000, up to 10 times the previous penalty, the cabinet said on its Web site.
The increased penalties are meant to “strike (at) the activities of driving up prices through hoarding or cheating,” the government’s Xinhua News Agency said. [Full Text]