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Transport prices fail to fall in step with petrol prices

Update: December, 25/2014 - 10:00
Though petrol prices have plummeted since July, with the popular A92 petrol price down by over 30 per cent, transport tariffs have barely fallen.— Photo laodong

HCM CITY (VNS) — Though petrol prices have plummeted since July, with the popular A92 petrol price down by over 30 per cent, transport tariffs have barely fallen.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper yesterday quoted truck owner Le Tan Dat of Tien Giang Province as saying "it is very difficult to reduce the tariff."

A truck carrying pineapples from Tien Giang to HCM City had to spend VND400,000 (US$19) on fuel before petrol prices came down. It costs VND100,000 ($4.7) less now, but he said he was still unable to reduce tariffs.

Another truck owner, Tai, said other costs like road tolls remained high, and even if transporters can cut rates, it would be by just VND10,000-20,000 per tonne of goods.

It had a knock-on effect on other prices. Tam, a trader at the Thu Duc wholesale market in HCM City, said the cost of transporting a tonne of beetroot, carrot or potato remains unchanged at VND700,000 ($33).

Therefore, the prices of the vegetables remained unchanged, he added.

Restaurants and eateries that cook meat and vegetables have thus not adjusted their prices. And, understandably, on the chain continues.

Tran Tuan Duong, deputy general director of steelmaker Hoa Phat Corporation, said any cut in steel prices brought about by the lower fuel prices would have to be small, just 0.5-1 per cent.

Many steel businesses said their margins were very low.

More oversight

The Ministry of Finance has urged the Ministry of Transport, transport departments and people's committees in cities and provinces to strengthen oversight of transportation operators, especially their tariffs.

They needed to instruct businesses to cut prices in step with the petrol price reduction and publicly announce them, it said.

They needed to crack down on businesses that gouge consumers, it said.

It has stipulated fines of VND5 to VND30 million ($230-1,400) for transporters who do not reduce prices in proportion with the petrol price cuts and a seizure of the tariff differential. — VNS

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