In a rare public outburst, a Beijing-based newspaper has tackled a senior central government official head on for saying there are no monopolies in key mainland industries. In a scathing article last week, the Gongyi Shibao, or Public Interest Times, suggested Li Rongrong , chairman of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, deserved a Nobel prize for his verbal contribution to mainland monopolies. Mr Li had claimed there were almost no monopolies in the petroleum, telecommunications and electricity sectors, and that competition had led to big profits in the industries. The Public Interest Times article, which was written by 'Lin Yu', scoffed at the claims, saying: 'There is nearly no monopoly in petroleum, telecommunications and power? People in the whole country will laugh at that. 'In reality, the industries ... are monopolised more than any others. Administrative monopolies, pseudo-marketisation and state assets hegemony are everywhere. 'Their profits belong to the people? This lie is not brilliant. Even though monopolies claim to make a contribution through taxation, they return just one cent from every yuan they earn through their monopoly. How is that a big contribution?' The newspaper's editor, Chen Jieren, said the publication had not set out to criticise Mr Li but to highlight that 'state-owned companies are of great benefit to the ordinary people, and we are taking care of the public interest'. The newspaper was launched in 2001 under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Affairs. In its Tuesday edition it carried another commentary attacking boasts by the Ministry of Education's spokesman, Wang Xuming, that education reform and development on the mainland was successful.