|Authorities inspect a gas shop in southern Long An Province. About 30 per cent of gas used in homes is fake, said Tran Minh Loan, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Gas Association. — Photo baohaugiang.com.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — About 30 per cent of gas used in homes is fake, said Tran Minh Loan, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Gas Association.
Loan spoke at a conference held on Tuesday by Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper. Fake gas distributors were difficult to be distinguished from legitimate companies, because they still used employee uniforms and promoted their product well.
Nguyen Bao Trung, deputy chairman of the gas association branch in the south, said the illicit gas trade created losses for customers and the companies that used legitimate gas. Gas was relatively uncontrolled whilst gas supply sources were not managed well, making it easy for traders to cut corners.
Phan Anh Thang, deputy head of the Market Watch No 4A under the HCM City Market Watch, said that companies filled tanks with fake gas in other provinces and then brought them to HCM City to sell.
Despite fines currently in place, many organisations and individuals have continued to violate the law. Deputy Chairman Tran Minh Loan said the fines weren't high enough to deter the violators. He suggested changing the law to make punishments stricter.
Gas companies needed to manage their distribution systems properly in order to prevent dealers from mixing fake gas in with real gas, Loan said.
Deputy Chairman Nguyen Bao Trung said the Vietnam Gas Association had proposed a decree that would step up regulations for gas canning companies. For instance, the companies must have contracts with or work under management of gas companies.
Lawyer Phan Thi Viet Thu, deputy chairwoman of the HCM City's Customer Rights Protection Association, said it was difficult to guarantee customers' rights if they bought fake gas and it caused an accident. Customers needed to study companies carefully before choosing who to buy from, and ask for instructions on use. The gas stores would then need to take responsibility and compensate the customers in the event of an accident, she said. — VNS