|Petrol is pumped into tanks at the Chan May petroleum storage port of PetroVietnam Oil. The prices of petrol and gas will continue to be market-driven and partially managed by the State to ensure stable prices this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — The prices of petrol and gas will continue to be partly market-driven and partly managed by the State in 2014.
The management of petrol and oil prices would include monitoring price movements in the global energy market.
However, to ensure stability of local energy prices, the State, especially the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, will continue to manage the prices of petrol and oil with the help of the price stabilisation fund and subsidies.
In 2013, the local prices of petrol and gas were relatively stable because of the use of the price stabilisation fund and subsidies, even though prices in the international petrol and gas market were volatile, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Last year, there were 11 adjustments in local petrol and gas prices, including six downward adjustments that lowered the price by a total of VND2,160 per litre, and upward adjustments that increased the price by a total of VND3,200 per litre. Overall, the prices of petrol and gas surged 4.48 per cent from their levels in 2012.
The price adjustments were in compliance with the market regulations issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and trade.
The most recent adjustment in energy prices took place on December 18: the price of A95 petrol rose VND580 per litre to VND24,710, while the price of A92 petrol was raised to VND24,210. The price of diesel was increased by VND650 per litre to VND22,960, while the kerosene price was hiked by VND380 per litre to VND22,400.
Several companies and households are worried about another hike in energy prices before the Tet festival because that will lead to hikes in the prices of goods and services.
Nguyen Van Thanh, chairman of the Viet Nam Automobile Transport Association, told the Viet Nam News Agency that several transport companies are planning to increase transport fees, adding that this could have an impact on ordinary consumers, as the Tet festival approaches.
The Ministry of Finance acknowledged that an increase in prices is likely due to a surge in petrol and oil prices in the global market. Without a price hike, domestic petrol dealers could face losses.
Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung pointed out that every adjustment of petrol and oil prices in the domestic market is aimed at ensuring the stability of the economy and curbing inflation by preventing sudden or large increases in energy prices.
The ministry will consider the interests of ordinary consumers first, followed by the interests of companies and the State when it decides to hike energy prices again, according to Dung.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the Price Management Department under the Ministry of Finance, said the prices of petrol and oil are managed under regulations contained in Decree 84/2009/ND-CP on trading petrol and oil.
The country imports 70 per cent for its demand of petrol and oil, so it is highly vulnerable to changes in global prices, Tuan added.
The two ministries do not decide specific prices for petrol dealers; only ceiling and floor prices are established.
The regulation aims to encourage enterprises to choose partners who can provide a reasonable trading system, which can reduce costs and offer appropriate selling prices to consumers. — VNS