The Ministry of Industry and Trade on December 25 said it was committed to ensuring adequate availability of goods across the country during the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

Further, officials said they have taken actions to assure prices remain at normal levels during the longest and most important holiday, while intensifying checks to stem the influx of counterfeit products.

Answering people's questions during an online meeting held by the Vietnam Government Portal, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa said that price stabilising programme, aimed at keeping the prices of all essential commodities constant during peak season and started before Tet, will last even after the festival.

"There have been many enterprises joining the programme with different types of goods, as well as selling places," Thoa said, adding that the number of enterprises has been increasing year by year.

The trade official said that in 2011, there were 6,400 locations that were covered by price stabilising mechanisms, but last year their number rose to about 8,000, apart from some mobile sale outlets, not only in big cities but also in remote areas and industrial zones.

"Enterprises joining the programme have pledged to keep open their businesses until the last few days before Tet. For example, many in Ho Chi Minh City have pledged to stay open until the last day of the lunar year and then re-open soon after the Tet period," she added.

According to Thoa, the price stabilising programme has been expanded to include other commodities also, besides the traditional essentials that are already covered.

"Moreover, many localities have focused on co-operating with each other in attaining a balance or coordinate transportation of goods, as per requirements, a move that has led to formation of new links among them," she said.

However, the trade official admitted that counterfeit and illegal-imported products were available in the market.

"We have issued instructions to all the relevant sectors and localities to intensify inspections, as well as exercise control on the issue," she said. "We will also work closely with the ministries of health, agriculture and rural development to inspect food safety and goods' quality."

The programme, launched by the Government, has been implemented and promoted over the last five years, especially during holidays, to ensure that prices do not skyrocket, thus saving customers from artificial inflation when they need goods the most.-VNA