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Ministry keeps lid on gas prices

Update: December, 05/2013 - 09:25
Workers handle containers at a gas shop in HCM City. The MoF has rejected a proposal to reduce the gas tariff to zero per cent in the hopes of lowering retail prices. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has rejected a proposal to reduce the gas tariff to zero per cent in the hope of lowering retail prices.

Since December 1, consumers have paid an additional VND80,000 ( US$4) per 12-kg gas canister.

To help lower the price, the Viet Nam Gas Association sent a request to ministry to reduce the current 5 per cent tariff to zero per cent so retail prices would fall by VND17,000 ($80 cents) a canister.

While the Ministry of Industry and Trade also supported the association's request, the finance ministry did not think it was the correct time for a tariff adjustment.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the ministry's price management, told the press on Tuesday that the Vietnamese price was based on world prices, which explains a recent rise in gas prices in Viet Nam.

Tuan said that as local gas enterprises must pay another $267.5 for a tonne of gas, it was reasonable for them to raise the price by about VND80,000 per 12 kg.

Regarding local rumours that poor management was causing gas prices to rise, Tuan said finance ministry inspectors had conducted regular inspections of gas prices and gas enterprises since 2010 and found no violations.

He concluded that after the ministry considered all factors, including market supply and demand, production and business conditions, as well as the consumer price index, officials chose to continue charging the current 5 per cent tariff for gas, while closely monitoring gas prices in the local and world markets.

If gas prices continue to keep rising, ministry officials will suggest that the Government take suitable measures to stabilise the market, Tuan said. — VNS


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