Comprehensive measures needed in petrol management: NA delegates

November 05, 2022 - 07:44
Many NA delegates called for a detailed assessment of current petrol management, especially the responsibilities of the management bodies
People wait in long lines to refuel their motorbikes at a petrol station on Thái Thịnh Street, Đống Đa District, Hà Nội. VNA/VNS Photo Phương Anh

HÀ NỘI — Comprehensive measures for petrol management are needed, said NA delegates, as petrol supplies become a pressing issue with numerous stores reporting shortages. 

In an interview on the sidelines of the 4th sitting of the 15th National Assembly (NA), the representative of Đồng Nai Province Trịnh Xuân An said: “In a country with an open economy, billion-dollar GDP and a huge demand for development, the shortage of petrol in major cities is unacceptable.

“People in Hà Nội and HCM City now line up for a whole hour to refuel their vehicles, that is impermissible.”

An believes that supply shortages and cost issues are only the tip of the iceberg. 

The key matter to address was the operating mechanism, in which changes were needed in identifying clear responsibilities among ministries, departments and localities, he said.

He added that petrol was considered an essential and special good, and therefore needed to follow both State regulations and market rules. 

Many NA delegates also called for a detailed assessment of current petrol management, An said, especially the responsibilities of the management body. 

He said: “Personally, I think petrol management should be under the scope of work of the MoIT.

“Petrol is a good that relates to the whole market, export-import, and regulation. I believe the MoIT has the capacity, the structure and functions to perform this task.”

Petrol as a commodity was being co-managed by the MoIT and the Ministry of Finance (MoF). However, several shortcomings and inflexibility still remained, which called for a holistic revision, said An. 

Earlier this week, petrol stations in major cities were either closed due to shortages or saw long queues of people waiting to refuel their motorbikes. 

Hoài Thu, a Hà Nội resident who stopped by a petrol station on Nguyễn Lương Bằng Street (Đống Đa District) on Tuesday evening, said that “people crammed in in no order, and it was so crowded that they were standing in the street.”

Thu decided to go to another station in Hà Đông District near her house in the hope to avoid the queue, but she still had to wait an hour until her turn. 

Even during an off-peak time of 3pm on Wednesday, Xuân Huy, an office worker in Hà Nội's Hai Bà Trưng District had to wait for 20 minutes at the petrol station. 

Meanwhile, in HCM City, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said that 108 petrol stations, equivalent to 20 per cent of the total, reported a shortage as of Tuesday.

Speaking on the matter, NA delegate Phạm Văn Hòa from Đồng Tháp Province said that many people were frustrated with the fluctuations in petrol prices, as well as the constant operational pauses among petrol stores. 

Hòa believed that this situation might concern the changes in commissions. Many petrol retailers went further in debt the longer they operate, therefore, stores were shut down.

While this could only be a case at the local scale, the reason might concern scarcity or a broken link in the supply chain. 

Hòa said that the petrol shortage would affect socio-economic recovery, and therefore required the MoIT to revise, inspect and identify the root causes, as well as necessary measures to address the problems. — VNS