Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung highlighted the need to implement measures that will ensure a happy, safe and thrifty Tet (Lunar New Year) festival for all people at the Government’s monthly meeting on January 29.

The PM asked ministries, sectors and localities to ensure the supply of necessities and control prices.

Transport services also need to be monitored to make sure trains and buses run and are not overcrowded. “If necessary, aviation and railway firms should reduce prices”, Dung said.

He also urged localities to pay more attention to welfare beneficiaries, people who rendered services to the country, the poor, and members of the armed forces that will be on duty during the New Year festival.

Local police were asked to uphold the firecrackers ban, and ensure traffic safety.

At the meeting, Cabinet members discussed measures to stabilise market prices and guarantee the supply of goods to meet the increased demand during the festival, the year’s biggest for Vietnamese.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong affirmed that the ministry has plans to prepare sufficient supply and control the quality of essential food products. Meanwhile, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said the transport sector will increase services just before and after the holiday.

Regarding socio-economic developments in January, Cabinet members said that all ministries, sectors and localities have kept up with the implementation of the Resolutions of the National Assembly and Government, and the Prime Minister’s directions on price stabilisation and production promotion, which has seen positive results.

The lending interest rate was cut, helping businesses. The January Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw a monthly rise of 1.25 percent, an average level compared to previous years. Export turnover is estimated to hit 10.1 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 43.2 percent.

Social welfare, with particular attention paid to the poor, the elderly and people with disabilities, was ensured.

Besides, the participants also highlighted existing difficulties. Cold spells in the north and a drought in central provinces have impacted agricultural production and the supply of food, fruits and vegetables.

Businesses still face many challenges, and the number of dissolved enterprises is relatively high. Meanwhile, the credit interest rate has been cut, but still high compared to businesses’ payment capacity.-VNA