Premier Wen Jiabao ordered power utilities to reduce electricity transmission to polluting companies and companies engaged in activities that did not accord with government industrial policy. Speaking on a visit to the State Power Distribution Center, Wen said there could be no exceptions in the enforcement of central policy guidelines at any government level. Wen also said utilities should keep electricity prices where they are and avoid any increases to ensure consumers, hospitals, and the transport and financial sectors were not hurt by shortages. Higher prices, affecting seven cities and provinces, were announced in June in the wake of new increases levied on commercial and industrial users.
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