Illustrative image (Source: VIB)
Hanoi (VNA) – The capital city has followed HCM City in stopping zero-interest loans to enterprises participating in the price stabilisation programme for the Tet (Lunar New Year) season.

Despite this, markets in both cities will have sufficient food items in stock, authorities say.

Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, said his administration would facilitate enterprises’ access to bank loans for purchasing goods to stock for the festival season, the Giao thong (Transportation) newspaper reported.

This is the most efficient way to ensure enough goods for Tet and will create good conditions for the enterprises to step up their production and business efficiency, Chung said.

The report also quoted Le Ngoc Dao, deputy director of HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, as saying that the municipal administration had not been giving out the zero-interest loans since 2013.

Instead, the city has encouraged commercial banks to give loans at preferential interest rates so that the enterprises can access funds for production, trading and stocking, ensuring stability in demand and supply, Dao said.

This has seen the number of enterprises joining the price stabilisation programme increase every year, he added.

Nguyen Ngoc An, deputy director of Vissan, a major food company in HCM City, said that over the past three or four years, his company had not obtained the zero-interest loans from the State budget.

The company has joined the price stabilisation programme to get loans at preferential interest rates from commercial banks that are also part of it, he said.

After joining the programme, Vissan has restructured its production process to compete in terms of price and quality of goods, An said.

So far, ten commercial banks have joined HCM City’s Tet goods price stabilisation programme to provide loans worth 12 trillion VND (530,750 USD) this year, 1.1 trillion VND higher than last year, said Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank’s branch in HCM City. The loans carry interest rates of between 4.15 percent and 6.5 percent per year.

Stable supply

An said Vissan has prepared 3,200 tonnes of processed food and 3,000 tonnes of fresh food for the Tet season. He said demand for food for Tet 2017 will not increase strongly in the HCM City with many people leaving their homes or on tours.

Lotte Mart has increased supply by 30-40 percent for confectionery and beverages and 25 percent for fashion products; while Coop Mart has said it will cooperate with suppliers to offer discounts of 10-50 percent on thousands of products.

Nguyen Xuan Duong, deputy director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Livestock Department, said the domestic livestock industry would supply enough food to the local market for the Tet season because of increased output.-VNA