Deputy PM: Gov’t able to keep 2018 inflation below 4 percent hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Government is capable of curbing the 2018 inflation rate at less than 4 percent as set by the National Assembly, according to Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

The Deputy PM was speaking at a conference in Hanoi on December 27 to review the Government’s price management and inflation control in 2017 and orientations for next year.

Hue, who is head of the Government’s Steering Committee on Price Management, asked the Ministry of Finance to closely monitor budget collection and spending, and improve the efficiency of public spending and investment.

The State Bank of Vietnam needs to run a tight and flexible monetary policy in line with market developments, he said, adding that the Ministry of Health should consider time for adjusting checkup and treatment costs for people without health insurance cards in 18 remaining cities and provinces while reducing medicine prices by 10-15 percent.

He urged the Ministry of Transport to negotiate with investors and banks on BOT fee reductions and cooperate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade in boosting logistics connection to cut down costs and increase the economy’s value.

Regarding education service prices, the Deputy PM requested the Ministry of Education and Training to apply a mechanism that enables universities to register tuition increase levels and times.

He also noted that the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development must ensure goods supplies during the Lunar New Year festival and other major holidays.

According to a report delivered at the conference, the country’s consumer price index (CPI) in 2017 was estimated to increase 3.52 percent against last year, fulfilling the target of keeping the inflation rate under 4 percent for the whole year.

Major reasons behind the CPI rise include hikes in the prices of health care and education services, fuel and construction material price surges as well as an increase in regional minimum wage, said the report.-VNA