China's diesel and petrol prices are set to soar on the expectation the government will relax retail price controls at a special meeting scheduled for this weekend, The South China Morning Post said, citing a report yesterday in China Business News which quoted an unnamed official. The government has been pricing mainland petrol US$0.50 a litre below Singapore benchmark prices and US$0.20 a litre cheaper for diesel to protect the domestic economy from the impact of rising global oil prices. Price controls and soaring world fuel prices have resulted in shortages at petrol stations. Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan and senior National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) officials are to hold a special meeting this weekend to discuss a mechanism for setting oil prices, China Business News reportedly said. "If the NDRC won't totally give up the price controls, it will relax its grip somewhat and make some adjustments," the newspaper quoted an official as saying.
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