No electricity price increases until the end of Q2 hinh anh 1Workers of the Vietnam Electricity in HCM City are checking substations. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - 
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has called for no increases in the electricity price until the end of the second quarter at the earliest to support businesses amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

This was the highlight of the ministry’s Directive No 06/CT-BCT issued on March 11 to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to remove difficulties for businesses.  

In the directive, the ministry asked the Electricity of Vietnam and other agencies not to increase the prices of inputs for production until the end of the second quarter.

This means electricity and fuel prices won't increase until July at the earliest.

Previously, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also asked for electricity prices not to be increased to support firms hit hard by the pandemic.

The most recent increase in retail electricity prices was on March 20, 2019, when the power price soared averagely 8.6 percent to 1,864.44 VND (0.08 USD) per kWh.

The ministry also called for the construction of big power projects to be hastened to create an impetus for growth, including Thai Binh 2, Long Phu 1 and Song Hau 1 thermopower plants, renewable energy projects and power transmission systems to ensure there would be no power shortage in 2021-25.

In the directive, the ministry also mentioned solutions to support business and production in overcoming the difficult time.

The ministry asked the Domestic Market Department to ensure an adequate supply of necessary goods at stable prices nationwide, especially in localities heavily affected by the pandemic.

Enhancing market monitoring was the top priority, the ministry said, adding that any price speculation would strictly be handled.

Simplifying administrative procedures and deregulation would also be sped up to support businesses.

The ministry plans to work with other ministries and agencies to ensure adequate raw materials for domestic production.

In addition, focus will be placed on removing barriers to facilitate cross-border trade.

Notably, incentive policies will be raised, first for the garment and textile, footwear and other industries which are suffering a great deal.

The ministry also plans to work with the State Bank of Vietnam to promote cashless payment and implement zero-charge programmes for online payment of public services./.