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Retailers urged to stock up for Tet

Update: November, 19/2012 - 09:29

 

People shop at a Co-opMart in HCM City. Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has urged authorities and businesses to ensure adequate supplies of goods and price stability during the upcoming Tet (lunar new year) holiday. — VNA/VNSPhoto Thanh Vu
HCM CITY (VNS)— Relevant authorities and businesses should ensure adequate supply of goods and price stability during Tet (lunar new year) early next year, the Government website has quoted Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai as saying.

Speaking at a meeting with ministries, business executives, and local authorities last Friday, he told them that though things might not be as "tense" as in the last few years, they should not be complacent and step up measures to prevent demand – supply imbalance and speculation.

With many pork and poultry producers shutting down due to high production costs, the Government was helping them with credit, he said.

Due to low demand some producers were wary of increasing output for Tet in early February, so authorities should have proper plans to ensure adequate supply during the festival, he said.

Only 42 out of 63 provinces and cities have so far made plans to stockpile essential goods for Viet Nam's most important festival, the meeting heard.

Hai called on ministries and local authorities to prevent the production and distribution of fake products and smuggling, and throw the book at speculators.

Improving publicity about all these issues was vital in preventing the spread of rumours that often cause market instability, he said.

The meeting was held to review the market situation and prices in the first 10 months of the year, discuss likely price movements before and during Tet, and discuss ways to regulate the market and ensure adequate supply during the rest of this year.

Ministries and other agencies have forecast that due to the continuing economic difficulties demand during Tet is unlikely to be as high as normal.

City price stabilisation

HCM City meanwhile reports that for more than 10 years since implementation, price-stabilisation programmes in HCM City have clearly shown their effectiveness, helping to control price speculation as well as counterfeit and poor-quality products.

The programme also ensured stable prices, particularly before and after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, Ma Van Hue, a senior official of the HCM City's Institute for Development Studies, said.

He pointed out that HCM City's Consumer Price Index (CPI) had consistently been lower than the national CPI for several years.

In 2010, the city's CPI rose 9.58 per cent year-on-year compared to the national index of 11.75 per cent. Last year, it rose 15.86 per cent year-on-year while the national CPI rose 18.58 per cent.

In the first 10 months of this year, the city's CPI rose only 3.8 per cent while the entire country went up by 6.02 per cent.

The price-stabilisation programme has also been intrumental in helping the city and neighbouring provinces develop the programme to encourage Vietnamese use locally produced goods, according to Hue.

He said that it had helped domestic businessmen broaden the scope of their investments.

Pham Thi Huan, director of Ba Huan Company Ltd, said the city programme had improved connections between consumers and producers.

After it began, both producers and farmers were able to earn profits during the Tet holiday. Prior to the programme, only producers were recording profits as they increased prices.

Consumers as well benefited as prices of goods covered by the programme remained more stable.

To improve the programme even more, the city is planning to strengthen co-operation with neighbouring provinces so that it can have a steady source of raw materials for companies.

Van Duc Muoi, general director of Vissan Company, said it was important to have a stable supply of raw materials.

Each day, HCM City needs about 10,000 pigs and 600 cows and buffaloes, but demand is greater than supply. Thus, the city needs to co-operate with other provinces, according to Muoi.

Le Ngoc Dao, deputy director of the city's Industry and Trade Department, said city authorities would soon begin working with provinces in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta so that it could have a stable supply of rice and foodstuff.

The city already signed contracts with Lam Dong Province to supply vegetables at lower prices, she added.

Dao said the city was also planning to ask provinces to identify their strengths so the city could buy goods from the appropriate sources.

When it was launched, the price-stabilisation programme had only two company members and total capital of VND45 billion.

The city is currently planning to organise four different price-stabilisation programmes with 48 participating companies.

There will be more kinds of goods, and the volume of goods are expected to increase by 20-50 per cent year-on-year.

The city's contributing capital in the form of no-interest loans to participating companies will be more than VND262 billion, excluding capital from the companies. — VNS

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