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Transporters slow to cut fares amid cheaper fuel

Update: January, 13/2016 - 09:28
Amid a wave of decreases to petrol and oil prices, consumers look forward to reductions of transport fees and the costs of products. However, many transport enterprises and taxi companies remain reluctant to lower fares. — Photo dantri.com.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Amid a wave of decreases to petrol and oil prices, consumers look forward to reductions of transport fees and the costs of products. However, many transport enterprises and taxi companies remain reluctant to lower fares.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, over the past four months, petrol prices have declined six times in a row with total cuts of over VND2,000 (8.9 US cents) per litre.

The most recent drop was on January 4 when the petrol price fell by VND373 (1.67 cents) to touch VND16,032 (72 cents) per litre. The price of E5 RON 92 biofuel decreased by VND571 (2.57 cents) to touch VND15,339 (69 cents) per litre.

On January 5, the Ministry of Finance asked financial and transport departments of provinces and cities nationwide to co-operate with relevant agencies to manage transport fares.

According to Ha Noi's Department of Finance, only seven out of 200 transport firms in the city registered to reduce fares.

Meanwhile, the information from Mien Dong bus station reveals that only 25 firms out of 200 firms operating in the station lowered transport fees.

Regarding consumer products, according to a study by Vietnam News Agency reporters, on the first days of this year at Mo Market and other wholesale markets in Ha Noi, the prices of beef, pork, chicken, poultry eggs remain unchanged. Prices of vegetables witnessed a slight hike, ranging from VND1,000 (4.5 cents) to VND3,000 (13.5 cents).

Nguyen Thi Huong, a vegetable seller at Mo Market, said that traders did not cut down prices of these products, especially vegetables as transport fees were not reduced.

To address the issue, Bui Danh Lien, Ha Noi Transport Association chairman, suggested that the information about transport firms which are slow to reduce fares should be publicised on media.

The State and management agencies must publish fares of taxi companies so that the passengers can praise the ones which reduce fares, Lien said, adding that the idea has been proposed many times but fails to be implemented.

The firms must speed up collaboration and apply technology in management to cut down the number of running empty taxis as well as avoid wasting petrol and driver work, he said.

He added that the State, Ministry of Finance, associations and firms should discuss and create transport fee lists and a range of fees in line with the fluctuation of petrol and oil prices. They would serve as a basis for transport firms to adjust fares and for management agencies to supervise the changes.

Dinh Van Sau, chairman of the board of directors of the Ha Noi-based Huong Lua Taxi Company said that the consumer demand for decreases of transport fees is reasonable.

He added that his company has planned to reduce the fares to VND500 (2.25 cents) per km. Besides, incomes of the drivers have been reduced due to competition from Uber taxi or Grab taxi. — VNS

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