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China’s salt industry reform approved for market vitality

Updated: May 5,2016 7:17 PM

A reform plan for the salt industry system was released by the State Council on May 5 in order to carry out an efficient allocation of resources in salt industries and stimulate the vigor of the market.

It stressed the improvement in the salt production system and the franchise system of the wholesale segment, asking for a decrease in the number of salt makers and wholesalers by halting the examination and approval of related businesses.

The combination and merger campaigns are encouraged between sales production and wholesale enterprises. Social capital also gets permission to enter Stated-owned salt enterprises.

The system of professional regulation will be improved, with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in charge of salt industries nationwide, and local offices will be responsible for the salt businesses in their respective administrative regions.

In addition, departments are asked to push forward the reform on the salt safety regulation system, striving to transfer the management and supervision functions of quality and safety to the State Food and Drug Administration. They will also establish an electronic tracking system for salt safety as needed.

According to the plan, regional restrictions for salt production and wholesale will be relaxed, and the rule that fixed point production enterprises can only sell to designated wholesale enterprises will be abandoned.

Salt makers will be allowed to carry out sales campaigns, with the autonomy being given in operation under its own brand. And salt wholesalers will be allowed to operate across regions. Furthermore, they are encouraged to introduce modern ways of distribution, such as e-commerce, chain management and logistics.

The government will make efforts to loosen price controls, allowing the market to determine prices, and retail pricing will be supervised to prevent abnormal fluctuations.

Government and enterprises are asked to jointly build a reserve system for edible salt and iodine for the whole society to guarantee a robust supply. Specifically, salt reserves can be no less than the consumption of one month in each area.

And the reserve system for enterprises should be improved, in which the maximum and minimum stock will be designated, with the minimum no less than the average sales volume of one month.

The plan sets in motion transitions to put the reform in place, and also calls for accountability of related departments at all levels through strengthening regulations relating to the sector.