|Deputy PM Vương Đình Huệ chairs the meeting of the Steering Committee for Price Management on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn|
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ has urged the Government’s Steering Committee for Price Management to keep consumer price index (CPI) growth below 4 per cent in 2018.
This could be done by minimising external impacts on domestic prices, he said.
Speaking at a meeting of the committee in Hà Nội on May 29, Deputy PM Huệ, who also heads the committee, said CPI growth in the first four months of this year was in line with the scenario set by the group thanks to a coordination in price management efforts between ministries.
However, he said higher prices of oil, gas, pork and food, plus complex developments in the global market over the past two months have put huge pressures on price management efforts.
Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, director of the Finance Ministry’s Price Management Department, said CPI expanded by 3.01 per cent in the first five months of 2018.
The ministry forecast that factors such as floods, the adjustment of prices of health care and education services, along with an increase in the basic salary and environmental tax on fuels, would put more pressure on CPI.
This pressure would eventually ease, however, thanks to stable demand for fresh food in the summer, a decrease of 10-15 per cent in medicine prices under the centralised bidding programme for drugs, and stable interest rates, among others.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Đỗ Thắng Hải said his ministry has instructed the Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN) to save production costs to maintain current retail power prices, while closely coordinating with the Ministry of Finance to effectively and harmoniously use the oil and gas stabilisation fund.
Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Đình Thọ said Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) toll stations have adjusted road fees in line with the Government’s instructions and stabilised prices of seaport and airport services.
Concluding the working session, Deputy PM Huệ said it is possible to keep CPI growth below 4 per cent in 2018.
He asked the ministries to maintain the prices of goods managed by the State and continue with review work to accelerate the decrease in prices of products such as drugs and medical equipment.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other relevant ministries were asked to maintain the rice export structure, control the number of pig farms, and actively negotiate with China to ship more Vietnamese fruits there.
The Deputy PM also urged the Health Ministry to push the centralised bidding of drugs and the bidding of medical equipment, while promptly issuing a circular to replace Circular No 37. The new circular should come into force on July 15, 2018 and stipulate a decrease in the process of 80 kinds of medical services. — VNS