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Quotas set for salt, sugar, eggs

Update: August, 11/2012 - 08:41


A farmer dries salt in the northern province of Nam Dinh. New import quotas for salt, sugar and eggs have been announced. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang
HA NOI — The Ministry of Industry and Trade yesterday issued Circular No 22/2012/TT-BCT setting import quotas for salt, sugar and eggs for the period from August 6 to December 31, 2012.

Accordingly, the import quota for salt is 102,000 tonnes; 70,000 tonnes for crude and refined sugar; and 41,000 dozen for eggs.

"The import quota was carefully decided by MoIT, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Finance Ministry at the beginning of the year. The benefits of all relevant objectives have also been reviewed," said Phan Thi Dieu Ha, deputy head of MoIT's Import-Export Department.

Ha said the ministry would allocate 51,000 tonnes of the imported salt for chemical production and another 2,000 tonnes for pharmaceutical use.

She added that businesses allotted these supplies would be responsible for using the items for production purposes only. They would have to report their usage to the ministry on a monthly and quarterly basis.

"The ministry will also organize teams to check up on businesses," she said.

In response to the concern many have expressed with importing eggs while the country has abundant supplies and breeders face severe difficulties, deputy minister Nguyen Thanh Bien said the import of the items showed Viet Nam's strong commitment to WTO.

Under the commitment, the country has to import four items including sugar, salt, egg and tobacco. In 2007, Viet Nam imported 30,000 dozen eggs and the import amount must increase 5 per cent each year.

Bien said the ministry has not implemented the strategy proposed by some associations of inviting bids for the imports as the quota followed global commitments.

"In addition, domestic producers find themselves in a tricky situation because local salt quality does not meet production demands, especially in the chemical industry," he said, adding that several producers resigned themselves to importing expensive salt to ensure their products' quality.

He also said the bidding would be difficult because several producers wanted to receive the quota but lacked capital.

"The bidding does not suit the country's economic scale. The quota would also be an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to take time to adapt to the global commitment," he said.

To prevent smuggling sugar, the deputy minister said the best solution was to keep domestic sugar prices in line with prices in bordering countries to reduce smugglers' possible profits.

In addition, the ministry would also improve market management to limit the situation. — VNS

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