Beijing city hikes minimum wage as inflation soars: report

BEIJING, June 28, 2008 (AFP) – China’s capital Beijing is to raise its minimum salary by 10 percent in a bid to help the worst-off cope with rising inflation, state media said Saturday. Beginning from July 1, the minimum monthly salary for city employees will rise from 730 to 800 yuan (106 to 116 dollars), the Xinhua news agency reported, citing city authorities.

The move is aimed at offsetting recent price increases in rice, vegetable oil and pork, an unnamed Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau official was quoted as saying.

Anger over rising prices has been a frequent source of social unrest in China.

A recent central bank survey found that 45 percent of urban Chinese believe prices are currently “too high”.

China’s inflation hit 7.7 percent in May, easing only slightly from 8.5 percent in April and still lingering at 12-year highs.

Beijing this month announced it will hike retail petrol and diesel prices by as much as 18 percent.