|A worker at the Samsung mobile phone production factory in Yen Phong Industrial Park, Bac Ninh Province. A high rate of disbursement of foreign direct investment and a minimal rise in the consumer price index last month have been attributed to Government policies. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (VNS) — The Consumer Price Index for last February saw a year-on-year increase of just 1.32 per cent, the lowest rate over the past four years.
The achievement was attributed by Cabinet members to the Government's efforts to rein in inflation during last month's Lunar New Year festival as they gathered for their monthly meeting in Ha Noi yesterday.
According to Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) Nguyen Van Binh and Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, the low CPI increase was due to the drastic implementation of measures and polices guided by the Prime Minister.
The measures included close monitoring of market prices, a tough stance on smuggled trade and tax evasion, as well as ensuring an abundant supply of commodities for the Tet period.
Binh also linked the outcome to the SBV's efforts, along with relevant agencies, to tackle challenges in the real estate market and deal with commercial banks' bad debts.
Other positive signs from last month included a stable deposit interest rate and slight decrease on the lending interest rate in Vietnamese dong, a marked improvement on the previous month.
Disbursement of foreign direct investment over the past two months was estimated at US$1.05 billion, up 5 per cent on the same period last year.
The Cabinet members, however, warned these efforts should be maintained in order to keep this year's inflation rate lower than last year, which was just under 7 per cent.
Many members suggested more drastic measures to address the slowdown in business and trade, boost purchasing power, reduce inventories, expand sale markets, curb bad debts and execute social support policies.
Addressing the meeting, PM Nguyen Tan Dung said that while the Government had laid down various resolutions focused on socio-economic development, the most important thing was to detail and enact them as soon as possible.
"We all agree it is important to resolve bad debts, tackle the housing shortage for low-income earners and remove the bottle-neck in the real estate market, but it's vital we have specific and effective measures," he said.
Dung ordered ministries and agencies to carry out comprehensive measures to control inflation and stabilise the macro economy.
He said the SBV should be more determined to reform the banking system while reducing bad debts through the establishment of risk prevention funds.
The bank was also urged to closely monitor the foreign exchange rate and lower lending rates to facilitate production and trade.
He added that the poor and disadvantaged population also deserve special policies from different levels.
The Cabinet members later heard that during the Tet holidays, various agencies and bodies enacted the President and PM's decisions to pay special attention to the Government's target beneficiary groups.
Henceforth, 1.9 million of people received Tet gifts, worth a total VND393 billion (US$18.9 million) and 18 provinces were supplied with 29,000 tonnes of rice during Tet and in between crops. — VNS