Hanoi will provide 318 billion VND (roughly 15 million USD) in zero-interest loans between July 2013 and April 2014 in a bid to stabilise the price of essential goods.

The announcement was made by Ho Quoc Khanh, Manager of the Trading Management Division under the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, at a conference held in the capital last week.

The stabilisation programme will focus on seven essential commodities including vegetables, meat, eggs and aquatic products. Stockpiled commodities such as sugar, processed food and notebooks will be excluded from the programme.

Local firms were also encouraged to use their own capital to balance supply and demand and stabilise prices.

Enterprises which participate in the stabilisation programme will need to align prices with the city's Department of Finance. Price increases can only be granted by the municipal finance department and industry and trade department, with adjustments within 10 percent of the market price.

The programme aims to give priority to industrial zones, low-income residential areas and canteens and hopes to provide consumers with clean, high-quality food.

Plans are underway for 38 Vietnamese Fairs to be held in suburban districts and for 400 mobile food outlets to provide subsidised food to local customers.-VNA