The Ministry of Finance on March 2 removed the 5 percent import tariff on gas in a move to lower retail prices.

After the cut, the ministry demanded that gas prices immediately reflect the cut.

The ministry also instructed relevant agencies to supervise price reductions by the retailers and fine violators.

The tax cut was made after the price of domestic cooking gas was hiked by a record of VND 52,000 per 12kg cylinder on March 1. This followed a 180 USD a tonne rise in the price of imported gas to 1,205 USD per tonne.

Accordingly, the retail price of cooking gas sold by Saigon Petro, Gia Dinh Gas, Vinagas, and VT Gas, ranged from 477,000 VND to 480,000 VND per 12kg cylinder.

This year, cooking gas prices have increased four times.

Gas wholesalers said price hike had dragged consumption down by 20-30 percent year-on-year. City dwellers are now turning to electric and magnetic cookers as alternatives, while people in the countryside have returned to charcoal and firewood.-VNA