Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Transport will require transportation businesses to slash transport fees within five days of the fuel price reduction, a senior official from the ministry said.

The move was made following many transport firms' failure or slow attempt to reduce their fees after the petrol price fell, Deputy Minister Le Dinh Tho told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

The retail price of petrol dropped sharply by 590 VND to reach a five-year low of 15,442 VND (68 US cents) per litre on January 19, the second price reduction since early this year.

As fuel costs account for some 35 percent to 40 percent of transport fees, falling petrol prices should lead to reductions in these fees.

Tho said transport fees were normally regulated by the market, but in reality, many transport firms had failed to cut their fees in line with the fuel price reduction, causing great public concern.

Vuong Thu Hang, Head of the Hanoi Finance Department's Price Division, told the newspaper that the department would continue reviewing, inspecting and encouraging transport businesses to register to lower their transport fees following the latest fuel price reduction.

After the last fuel price adjustment earlier this month, five taxi companies and nine transport businesses failed to slash their fees, she said.

However, a representative of a taxi company said the last fuel price reduction had not been significant enough and only helped to reduce production costs by 1.5-2.5 percent, while transport companies had to face increases in other costs such as the minimum wage and road maintenance fees.

Deputy Minister Tho said the ministry would continue instructing the relevant agencies to adopt measures to keep transport fees under control for all means of transport, including road and rail transport and aviation.

According to Pham Van Hao, Deputy Head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, the national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, and other airlines have reported their transport fee reduction plans, which will be made public in the next few days.

Doan Duy Hoach, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Railway Corporation, said the railway fares had been on the path of reduction since early 2015 to date.

In 2015, the railway sector cut transport fees by 10-15 percent.-VNA