Sales ban after China store crush

New measures after supermarket stampede leaves three dead in rush for cheap oil.

    The stampede for cheap cooking oil on Saturday
    left three dead and dozens injured [AFP]
    A directive released by the ministry said: "In order to eliminate safety concerns, companies are required not to organise time-limited sales promotions which may lead to traffic congestion, bodily harm and disorderly conduct."
     
    It also ordered police and government offices to "carry out a comprehensive investigation of retail businesses' sales promotions" following Saturday's stampede.
     
    Soaring prices
     
    Dangerous crowding is common in China's often-cramped stores and discount promotions are a powerful lure for Chinese consumers feeling the pinch from rising prices.
     
    The soaring food costs drove up China's consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, in October.
     
    The CPI rose 6.5 per cent in October year-on-year, overwhelmingly led by a rise in food prices, which were up 17.6 per cent, the government said on Tuesday.
     
    October's CPI was up from 6.2 per cent in September, and the same as the 6.5 per cent in August, then the highest level in more than a decade, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
     
    The release of the data came as state media quoted Wen Jiabao, the premier, vowing to ensure adequate supplies and stable prices of basic consumer commodities.
     
    "Prices have been on the rise these days and I'm aware that even a one-yuan [13-cent] increase in prices will affect people's lives," Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
     
    Analysts say the high rate of inflation is likely to persist in November, meaning that the government is likely to implement more interest rate hikes before the end of the year in an attempt to cool the economy.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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