Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue required ministries, sectors and localities to control the consumer price index (CPI) between 3.3-3.9 percent in 2019 while chairing a conference of the National Steering Committee on Price Management in Hanoi on January 17.

This goal was set to meet the requirements of the Government’s Resolution 01/NQ-CP dated January 1, 2019 controlling CPI below 4 percent, said Hue, who is also head of the committee.

He added that this scenario has been calculated on the basis of adjusting the prices of petroleum products, pork, and continuing to bring the salary structure and a part of management costs into health services and electricity prices.

The Deputy PM requested to continue managing basic inflation between 1.6-1.8 percent this year, and suggested the General Statistics Office under the Ministry of Planning and Investment to supplement and adjust the price management scenarios according to the above target.

For adjustments to electricity prices this year, Hue required inputs to be transparent and kept under control, as well as adjusting electricity prices synchronously with gas prices for consumption and coal prices for electricity production.

The adjustment of electricity prices must aim at attracting energy investors and reducing costs for production and consumption, he said. The power sector should strengthen technology and restructuring of production and labour to continue cutting production costs.
 
At the meeting of the National Steering Committee on Price Management (Photo: VNA)

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has built a scenario to manage petrol prices for the year on the basis of closely following global petrol and oil prices. The ministry has a plan on using the petrol price stabilisation fund and adopting policies to encourage use of bio fuel.

The Ministry of Health was asked to calculate salaries and management into the cost of examination and treatment services. It must coordinate with the Vietnam Social Security to continue expanding the list of drugs and medical equipment and materials under auction and negotiate to reduce the price of medicines.

“In the first quarter of 2019, ministries must ensure supply to avoid a ‘fever’ on goods and price hikes as well as focus on bringing goods to remote areas and cities with many workers. That will ensure the lowest inflation growth rate in February 2019,” Hue said.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the industry and trade sector has organised production and distribution of goods for the Lunar New Year to these areas to avoid such a fever.

At the meeting, the steering committee reported that in 2018, price management and inflation control were successful with CPI growth at 3.54 percent, much lower than the target of about 4 percent.

This is the third consecutive year with inflation controlled at below 4 percent, making an important contribution to the country’s socio-economic development and building trust with people and businesses.

This success was attributed to the ministries and sectors’ management of prices according to market principles and global price fluctuations. They had operating scenarios for each month and each quarter from the beginning of the year based on scientific calculations.-VNA