Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue on Nov. 24 answered National Assembly deputies’ questions, focusing on price and public debt management and business performance of State-owned enterprises.

In relation to price management, the minister stressed that price management of essential goods such as electricity, petrol and coal is in line with market mechanisms and under State control.

Market mechanisms include respecting prices set by enterprises based on input costs to ensure profits remain at suitable levels.

In terms of the power sector, if prices are not set satisfactorily, it will be difficult to attract investment, which in turn can lead to a tense situation in power supply.

The minister expected the average electricity price to stand at 1,242 VND per kWh in 2012, a 4.6 percent rise over the current level. However, the price of electricity sold to poor and low-income households will be kept the same, he said.

Regarding oil and gas price management, he affirmed the need to manage prices in accordance with market mechanisms and world prices as Vietnam has to import 70 percent of the products.

While answering questions on the country’s public debts, Minister Hue affirmed that Vietnam’s public debts remain at safe level as most of its debts are ODA or preferential loans. In 2011, the government’s debts are 43.6 percent, while national debts account for 41.5 percent; and public debts, 54.6 percent, he added.

According to the minister, his ministry has proposed three solutions to the National Assembly and the Government to increase the management of public debts.

These solutions focus on building a scenario and a roadmap to reduce overspending; enhancing the capability and efficiency of public debt management and improving debt forecasting and analysing capability and negotiation skills; and tightening the management of risks, including risks related to interest rates and exchange rates.

Stabilising the macro-economy is also considered a good solution to manage public debts, Hue said./.