Ha Noi — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Wednesday called for all-out efforts to stabilise the domestic market in the run-up to the Te (Lunar New Year) holiday.
A vendor sells chickens at Hom Market in Ha Noi. The Prime Minister has called on authorities to ensure prices do not rise in the run up to Tet (Lunar New Year). — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
Authorities are worried the usual Lunar New Year price hikes in the lead-up to the nation's biggest holiday will squeeze consumers who are already grappling with double-digit inflation.
Dung said market inspections and controls must be tightened to avoid speculation and illegal price rises near the Christmas and Tet period, which falls at the end of January.
The Government leader asked local administrations to take immediate measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises and agricultural businesses better access capital and raw materials while ensuring smooth trading.
All administrative procedures must be facilitated to cut down on production costs and maximise business efficiency, he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was told to ensure there were adequate supplies of the types of foodstuffs that had previously seen the biggest price hikes leading up to Tet due to soaring demand from customers.
Companies usually justified raising prices ahead of the Lunar New Year on supply shortages.
Several food companies have already announced that they would soon raise prices by between 10 per cent to 20 per cent ahead of Tet.
Viet Nam Railways has also increased fares by 39 per cent.
Meanwhile, the State Bank of Viet Nam has been told to take the lead in applying strong measures to control foreign exchange rates and gold prices and to reduce interest rates, which currently stand at about 20 per cent.
The Prime Minister also said no to any spending from the State Budget on New Year gifts this year.
The Government leader has called on local authorities to improve public transport, boost road safety and crack down on thieves and smuggling.
HCM City authorities meanwhile are putting in place the arrangements to carry out its price stabilisation programme for essential goods for the upcoming Tet season.
The programme will begin implementation early in December, focusing on stable food items like rice, sugar, cooking oil, meat, poultry, eggs and vegetables.
Widely used processed food items will also be covered by the programme.
This year, the programme will be expanded in rural districts, industrial parks and export processing zones, said Le Ngoc Dao, director of the city's Department of Industry and Trade.
Under the programme, the city selects businesses specialising in production and trade of essential goods to co-operate in planning production, processing and purchase of such goods to meet consumer demand and stabilise prices.
The goods will be offered at least 10-20 per cent lower than the market price.
By maintaining sufficient reserves of good quality goods and having it sold at reasonable prices, authorities hope to control speculative activities designed to push up prices and deliver more profits to traders.
Enterprises participating in the programme stand to benefit by gaining more opportunities to market their products and accessing preferential capital to develop production and trading.
Besides opening more outlets in rural districts, Saigon Co.op and Satra, two participants in the programme, will organise more mobile sale campaigns to bring the goods to more people in rural and remote areas.— vns