Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ yesterday praised the Government’s efforts to control inflation.— VNA/VNS Photo Văn Điệp
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ yesterday praised the Government’s efforts to control inflation.
He was speaking as the rate was predicted to stay below the initial target of four per cent this year.
It was reported at the third quarterly meeting of the Steering Committee on Price Management that the consumer price index (CPI) – a typical measure to calculate inflation – in September increased by 0.59 per cent compared to the previous month. It made the CPI climb by 3.57 per cent in the first nine months this year.
The CPI’s movements over the three quarters was relatively close to the Government’s initial forecasts, said the report, which correctly predicted a number of factors affecting prices like the Lunar New Year and other holiday events.
Deputy PM Huệ said it was a success for the Government to keep the prices in control this month.
“We let the prices of several basic commodities float on a market-based basis while at the same time gradually started the market-based pricing for public services and products that were originally controlled by the State in the context of a global pricing turbulence and horrendous natural disasters,” he said.
“With all that, an increase of only 0.59 per cent of the CPI in September is really a triumph.”
The price management work in the remaining months of 2018 was predicted to follow previous forecasts, Huệ said.
They would include a high growth of agriculture production which provides a stable output of food and a decreasing pricing trend of communications services as well as a tightly controlled finance and credit supply.
The cost for health services is widely expected to drop by between 15 and 17 per cent in the coming months.
That’s because of a new policy to organise the so-called ‘centralised drug bidding’ to select a pharmaceutical company that can offer the best medicine at the lowest price to provide to all health facilities nationwide.
The Ministry of Health and the Việt Nam Social Insurance were preparing the final stages to begin collective bidding in 2018.
The social insurance authority is planning to run bids for nine active pharmaceutical ingredients in 20 medication products while the health ministry will be in charge of biddings for another 27 ingredients in 173 drugs.
While both the State Bank and the General Statistics Office of Việt Nam predicted inflation rate this year would stay below four per cent – the target set by the National Assembly, the Deputy PM said that it was crucial for the Government to stay on guard to keep inflation ideally between 3.7 and 3.95 per cent.
Huệ asked the ministries and the localities to keep a close eye on the prices of essential goods like food and petrol especially around Christmas and New Year or during natural disasters to manage the goods supply and minimise the chance of a sudden price hike.
He also ordered the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance to consider using the Price Stabilisation Fund to keep the petrol price increase as low as possible.
The two ministries should also look into cutting the special consumption tax of the bio-fuel E5 in order to lift the usage amount of the ethanol fuel mixture among Vietnamese road users to protect the environment and reduce the average petrol price on the market, Huệ said. — VNS