|HCM City's annual price stabilisation programme will this year focus on the same four groups of goods as last year – essential foods and foodstuff, materials used by students, drugs, and dairy products.—VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City's annual price stabilisation programme will this year focus on the same four groups of goods as last year – essential foods and foodstuff, materials used by students, drugs, and dairy products – the Department of Industry and Trade has said.
Speaking at a meeting on Saturday to review last year's programme and make plans for this year, Le Ngoc Dao, the department's deputy director, said 64 companies had registered to take part, a third more than last year.
Five credit institutions – Agribank, Eximbank, Sacombank, BIDV, and Vietinbank – had joined for the first time, she said.
The programme, to last from April 1 to March 31 next year, would see the participating businesses sell at 5-10 per cent lower than market prices, she said.
They could hike prices if their costs increase by 5-10 per cent, but would have to get express approval from the Department of Finance, she said.
"Unlike in previous years, when the businesses got interest-free loans from the city, this year they will get loans at reasonable interest rates from the credit institutions taking part in the programme."
The five lenders have earmarked VND860 billion for short-term loans at 6 per cent and VND1.1 trillion for long-term loans at 10 per cent, she added.
The city will subsidise investment by the participating firms in technology upgrading and expansion of breeding farms, linking them with distribution networks, and providing free advertising.
Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the city People's Committee, called on relevant agencies and enterprises to ensure the cheap goods under the programme reach company canteens, markets, supermarkets, and other retail centres.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said: "The city will set up more outlets in outlying districts and industrial parks to provide sufficient goods to low-income people at reasonable prices."
Hong said the price stabilisation programme has benefited both consumers and enterprises in the last 11 years.
Last year the volume of goods sold under the programme accounted for 25-40 per cent of total demand in the city, an increase of 15-30 percentage points over 2011, she added. — VNS