The Ministry of Justice has replied to inquiries from National Assembly deputies, clarifying the position on the State monopoly of gold bar production.

Deputy Tran Thi Quoc Khanh of Hanoi said the Prime Minister’s Decree 24/2012/ND-CP released in April last year, did not specifically designate any business to produce gold bars.

However, Decision 1623/QD-NHNN released by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) in August exclusively designated the Saigon Jewelry Joint Stock Company (SJC) to produce gold bullion, reports Vietnam Economic Times.

Khanh said decision 1623 raised concern among businesses and NA deputies that the central bank may have violated the Constitution and Law.

In response to a petition to deputy Khanh, the Ministry of Justice confirmed that the SBV decision was legal.

According to the ministry, Clause 3 of Article 4 in Decision 24/2012/ND-CP stipulates that the State holds the monopoly on gold bar production, and the export and import of gold to produce bars.

In addition, Clause 3 of Article 16 issued in Decree 24 stipulates that it controls the organisation of gold bar production.

Therefore, the State Bank issued decision 1623 designating the SJC to produce gold bullion.

SBV Governor Nguyen Van Binh said that under the new regulations, the State will exclusively produce gold bar, therefore it considers the SJC brand the State brand.

In another development, the State Bank sold 19,600 gold teals at auction on May 9 for between 41.52-41.56 million VND per tael (1 tael is about 1.2 ounces). This was the smallest amount in the last 15 auctions.

The central bank is expected to sell about 10 tonnes of gold in the near future.

On June 30, commercial banks will be forced to close gold sales. If market demand is still high, the SBV is expected to continue selling gold until supply meets demand.

The central bank has sold a total of about 412,500 gold taels (16 tonnes) of the total 458,000 taels offered since March 28 in an effort to stabilise the market.

It estimates that commercial banks need to buy another 20 tonnes of gold close their positions.-VNA