MOIT to take over control of milk formula prices hinh anh 1A customer shops for powdered milk at a Co.op Mart supermarket in HCM City. (Photo: baocongthuong)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has delivered documents to  the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) regarding the management of 877 formula milk products for children less than six years old.

The Domestic Market Department under the MoIT will be responsible for managing the prices of these products.

According to Decree No 149/NĐ-CP dated November 11, 2016, enacted by the Government to supplement and revise some articles of Decree No 177/2013/NĐ-CP, the management of milk prices for children less than six years old will be the responsibility of the MoIT in 2017. 

At present, the country has 877 registered formula products for children below six years old. Their registered and maximum prices are publicised on the portals of the MoF and local financial departments.

Since June 2014, baby formulas have been placed on the list of subsidized products, with a cap on ceiling prices of 600 products, as a range of solutions, including price registration and announcements, had not been effective. The difference between retail and wholesale prices has not exceeded 15 percent.

Earlier, the MoIT refused to manage milk prices for children of less than six years old. However, Decree No 149/NĐ-CP officially handed over the responsibility to the ministry.

The MoIT said the Law on Prices stipulates that the MoF had chaired and co-operated with relevant ministries, agencies and provincial people’s committees to monitor factors building prices for goods and services under the price stabilisation list, including formula milk products for children less than six years old. This was the reason that the MoF should continue to manage the price, or co-operate with the Ministry of Health (MoH), to manage the products’ prices.

“The MoIT will continue to co-operate with MoF and MoH in implementing State management on market development and distribution systems, including formula milk and other supplementary dietary products for children less than six years old,” it added.

Based on the realities of the operation and management of milk prices in recent years, the Ministry of Finance recognized that the role of the Ministry of Industry and Trade was very important, from importing to trading milk in the market, because more than 70 percent of powder milk supply sources in Vietnam were imported.

On September 10th, 2015, the Ministry of Finance sent a report to the Government reviewing past rules and practices on the management of milk products for children under 6 years old, and the need to transfer the task of managing the price of milk products for children under 6 years old to the MoIT.-VNA