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PM orders strict control on prices

Update: September, 28/2012 - 09:23

 

People shopping at Co.opMart supermarket in Ha Noi. The Government will strictly control prices and fees of essential goods and services to ensure price stability. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS)— The GDP rose by 5.35 per cent in the third quarter, higher than the two previous quarters' paces of 4 and 4.66 per cent, respectively.

This figure was released during the regular cabinet meeting of the Government in Ha Noi yesterday.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the GDP growth reflected a huge effort to curb inflation and stabilise the macro-economy.

The lending interest rate declined by 5-8 per cent per year, From Page 1

which matched the pace of inflation, the monetary market and the macro-economy.

Over the last nine months, the export turnover increased by 18.9 per cent while the import turnover rose by 6.6 per cent compared to last year's same period. The export surplus was equal to 0.04 per cent of the total trade turnover.

Over the same period, 1.13 million jobs had been created, accounting for 70.6 per cent of the yearly target, and about 60,000 guest workers had been sent abroad.

Analysing the situation of the global economy and Viet Nam's economy, many cabinet members agreed that the future was still uncertain. It was anticipated that the consumer price index would rise at a higher pace than in the beginning of the year.

Cabinet members suggested that in the last quarter of this year, the top priority should go to inflation-curbing measures to maintain macro-economic stability.

The Prime Minister said the ultimate goal was to prevent double-digit inflation from happening.

He elaborated some measures that could help, such as pushing for more credit growth, strictly monitoring the total payment means, maintaining stable currency exchange rates and preventing the interest rate from rising higher.

In terms of fiscal policies, he proposed keeping a balance between revenues and spending. The overspending ratio should remain at 4.8 per cent, he said.

To realise the goal of achieving GDP growth of more than 5 per cent in 2012, Prime Minister Dung asked relevant agencies to help clear obstacles to business and manufacturing activities, particularly in the real estate market, to scale up production of competitive products such as rice, seafood, textiles and leather and to clear up inventories that remained unsold, especially construction materials.

As for pricing policies, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said that adjusting prices of a number of goods and services in accordance with the market value was a necessary move but one that should be timed carefully and only done after careful analysis of any potential socio-economic impacts.

In terms of taxation policies to help ease the burden on business communities, head of the Government Office Minister Vu Duc Dam said in the following press briefing that the Prime Minister agreed with the proposal of the Ministry of Finance to extend the tax deadline by three months, which would affect about VND 3.7 trillion worth of value added tax.

In response to an inquiry about the earthquakes happening near Song Tranh Hydroelectricity Plant, Dam said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai had been working closely with relevant ministries to analyse information from different sources, including the media, to find a solution for the problem and thus guarantee the absolute safety of area residents.

Price stability

The Prime Minister has required ministers, sectors, cities and provinces to exercise strict control on prices and fees of essential goods and services to ensure price stability in the domestic market by this year end.

According to Directive 25/CT-TTg, issued on Wednesday, ministries, sectors and people's committees of centrally-controlled provinces and cities must promote strict measures to prevent trade fraud, pricing transfers and smuggling at border gates, especially when it comes to petrol, gas, tobacco and mineral products.

"By controlling these processes more carefully, they can avoid getting into a situation where there is an imbalance between supply and demand, and can also prevent any increase in the price of goods and services which would lead to a loss of stability in the local market," the Prime Minister said in the directive.

He asked the ministries of Health and Education and Training and the people's committees in central provinces and cities to reschedule planned price increases of goods and services controlled by the State, including the price of health care services, tap water and buses and tuition fees.

Before increasing those prices and fees, they should evaluate the potential impact of such an increase on production and people's lifestyle and also take into account how this would affect the goals of controlling inflation and stabilising the macroeconomy.

The ministries of Finance and Industry and Trade would continue managing prices of petrol and gas under Decree 84/2009/ND-CP on trading petrol and gas and would monitor petrol and gas trading activities to ensure adequate supply and stable prices in the market.

The two ministries would also create a schedule to gradually increase electric prices according to market rule with control by the State. Any increases in coal prices would be made with the goal in mind of solving the financial difficulties of the coal industry and ensuring stability in the macro-economy.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade would cooperate with other ministries, sectors and people's committees of cities and provinces to continue a goods stockpile programme for market stabilisation and balance of supply and demand, especially on the occasion of the coming Lunar New Year in 2013.

Additionally, the ministry would create favourable conditions for enterprises in terms of both production and business: increasing purchasing power, reducing stockpiles and developing local markets.

Groups, state-owned corporations and enterprises would continue restructuring to become more efficient.

The solutions were issued by the Prime Minister after the consumer price index (CPI) in September rose suddenly at the high rate at 2.2 per cent while the index had seen only a light increase of 0.63 per cent in August.

Le Quoc Phuong, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Industrial and Trade Information Centre, said by this year end, production and business would overcome current difficulties and demand would increase.

Therefore, CPI would continue the increase trend by this year end and the target of CPI increase at 7 per cent would be impossible, he said.

Nguyen Duc Thang, head of the General Statistics Office's Price Statistics Department, agreed with Phuong's opinion that the national inflation could not stand at 7 per cent.

The CPI in October was expected to continue increasing because many provinces and cities planed to increase tuition fees in October, Thang said. Additionally, as happens every year, demand for goods and services would increase at the end of the year. — VNS

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