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Falling world oil prices pose new challenges: Prime Minister

Update: December, 02/2014 - 09:10
A worker operates petrol supply equipment at the PV Oil Nha Be in HCM City. Prime Minister Dung said at a cabinent meeting yesterday that the economy could face new challenges from the ongoing fall in world crude oil prices. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HA NOI (VNS) — The Government yesterday admitted that the Vietnamese economy could face new challenges from the ongoing fall in world crude oil prices.

At a monthly cabinet meeting held yesterday in Ha Noi, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged the finance ministry to calculate State budget income in order to avoid a deficit.

Oil prices fell from US$105 per barrel at the end of July to $68.53 at the end of November. This is the lowest in about four years.

Viet Nam exports crude oil, but it has to import finished petroleum products.

The PM also called for tighter control of prices and markets as well as combating contraband and low-quality goods as the New Year is approaching.

During January-November, the macro economy continued stabilise, while growth recovery was reported in all fields. GDP growth was higher than in the two previous years and is expected to exceed the set target of 5.8 per cent.

In the period, inflation was kept under control, the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 4.3 per cent, while the index of industrial production rose by 7.5 per cent - and FDI disbursement increased by 6.2 per cent.

PM Dung also requested ministries, sectors and localities to speed up economic restructuring in line with the changing growth model, while boosting the restructuring and equitisation of State-owned enterprises as planned.

He asked for more efforts to stabilise the macro economy, remove business obstacles, and hasten the processing and disbursement of projects, especially those involving infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the State Bank of Viet Nam was requested to implement measures to deal with bad debts, and re-organise credit institutions, making it easier for businesses to access loans.

The PM asked ministries, sectors and localities to continue implementing administrative reform and improving the business climate.

They were also urged to strengthen inspections over law enforcement and corruption and prevent wastefulness.

The Government leader stressed the need to focus on sustainable poverty reduction, new-style rural areas and job generation.

He also asked for concerted measures to combat social crimes, and ensure social order and traffic safety.

PM Dung also agreed with a proposal from the labour ministry that State cadres and public officers have four days off from January 1 to 4 to celebrate the New Year; nine days off from February 15-23 to celebrate Tet (Lunar New Year) and six days off from April 28-May 3 in observance of the Hung King's Festival, the Reunification Day and the Labour Day.

At a following press conference, head of the Government Office, Nguyen Van Nen, praised the decision for Thua Thien-Hue to end a controversial resort project at Hai Van Pass. The provincial government said the decision was made following public outcry over the project's planned location.

At the press conference, Nen also reaffirmed that the economy did not show signs of deflation. — VNS

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