|Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên delivers a speech on Wednesday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tuấn|
HÀ NỘI — Enterprises in charge of importing petrol and oil will be strictly punished, and could even be suspended from operating, if found to be illegally holding petrol and oil to sell at a higher price later.
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên made this statement at the ninth session of the National Assembly (NA)’s Standing Committee on Wednesday morning when he answered a question relating to the increasing price of oil, from NA deputy Phạm Văn Hòa of Đồng Tháp Province.
Hoà asked whether or not petrol and oil can be held to sell at a higher price, as some petrol small traders said that they have no petrol and oil to sell recently.
Diên said that authorised agencies are conducting inspections of 33 enterprises, which are assigned in importing petrol and oil in the country, to deal with violations if found.
Also at the session, NA deputy Nguyễn Đại Thắng of Hưng Yên Province asked about solutions from the ministry to ensure sufficient domestic petrol and oil supply. World oil prices are high and the domestic supply is limited because Nghi Sơn Refinery and Petrochemical Plant have reduced its production output, thereby adding a surcharge for each barrel of imported oil.
Diên said over the past few days, the world petrol and oil prices have spiked sharply due to supply disruptions in countries with large output, and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, turning the world petrol and oil market upside down.
In the domestic market, the supply was also limited because Nghi Sơn Refinery and Petrochemical Plant suddenly reduced its capacity to about 55-80 per cent, he said.
In response to the situation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has directed all key enterprises with the function of importing petrol and oil to import sufficient volume to serve the domestic market, he added.
Diên said, through drastic measures, the petrol and oil supply is expected to be enough to serve the domestic market until the end of March.
The ministry already ordered the petrol-and-oil import enterprises to exceed their normal import volume in March to meet the domestic demand, he said.
“There is no shortage of the world supply of oil and petrol,” he said.
The ministry, together with the Ministry of Finance, have adjusted the domestic price of petrol and oil following the law, he said.
The price has been adjusted every 10 days, closely following the world price’s developments, he said.
The price increase margin of the world’s petrol and oil is 40-60 per cent, but the number is only 29-40 per cent in Việt Nam, he said.
To achieve this, the two ministries have flexibly operated the country’s Petroleum Price Stabilisation Fund. Although the fund's balance is not large, financial support of VNĐ500-1,500 (2 – 6 US cents) per litre of petrol and oil is on hand, he said.
Moreover, the two ministries also advised the Government to propose the NA’s Standing Committee to consider reducing environmental protection tax to reduce the domestic prices of petrol and oil, helping to restore the economy, he said.
Controlling medical equipment market
Also at the question-and-answer session, Diên said the ministry will continue closely working with agencies to prevent the smuggling of medical equipment, as well as fake, counterfeit and unoriginal medical equipment, into Việt Nam.
Head of State agencies and civil servants, who are in charge of the issue in each locality, will take full responsibility if any violations relating to faked, substandard and unoriginal medical equipment is found, he said.
Diên made these comments in response to questions from NA deputies relating to market management and prevention of smuggling and counterfeit goods at the session.
NA deputy Lưu Bá Mạc from Lạng Sơn Province said, there has been a shortage of medical equipment supplies in the COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control. Smuggled and unoriginal medical goods have been found on the market too.
So, Mạc asked for solutions to rectify the situation.
Diên admitted that, while the demand for drugs and medical supplies during the pandemic has increased, violations that Mạc mentioned already occurred.
The ministry has ordered the market management force to focus on inspecting and controlling commercial fraud and counterfeit goods, he said.
The ministry also issued a dispatch from the beginning of March on strengthening the inspection and supervision of the market. As a result, the market management force seized 500,000 unoriginal biological test kits in HCM City, Hà Nội, Bắc Ninh, Lạng Sơn, Quảng Bình, An Giang, Quảng Ninh and Thừa Thiên – Huế, he said.
On Wednesday, the force also seized 60,000 sets of unoriginal COVID-19 rapid test kits and 3,000 unoriginal medicines worth tens of billions of đồng in Hà Nội. This is the biggest violation so far this year, he said.
He said the ministry will speed up dissemination and education on legal policies for people so that they can supervise and help authorised agencies in the fight against smuggling. — VNS