Capital businesses taking part in the annual Tet price-stabilisation programme have been asked to stock up with 475 billion VND (22.8 million USD) worth of essential goods in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season.

Estimates from the municipal Industry and Trade Department indicate that capital businesses expect to earn 24 trillion VND (1.2 billion USD) in retail and services revenue during the Lunar New Year – which will fall in late January 2012 – an increase of 20 percent compared to other months.

Demand for all types of food, including pork, poultry and frozen seafood, is expected to surge well beyond normal levels during the holiday festivities. Vegetable consumption alone is expected to reach 90,000 tonnes, a 15,000 tonne increase over normal levels.

Deputy director of the department Nguyen Van Dong told a meeting last week with related departments that his department will provide favourable conditions for businesses to search for goods in other provinces to ensure low prices, which will help stabilise prices, while conducting regular inspections at supermarkets and price stabilisation shops to prevent speculation.

Goods listed for the stockpile include rice, cooking oil, pork, eggs and sugar, among other essentials. Items part of the stabilisation plan will be priced at 10 percent lower than those on the market.

The department asked programme participants to be active in stockpiling double their normal amount to ensure enough goods at the city's 561 price stabilisation shops.

Head of the department's Trade Management Office Ho Quoc Khanh said there will not be a shortage of goods during the holiday because the weather has been favourable for production.

The department also asked district-level People's Committees, market management boards, supermarkets and enterprises to submit reports about their holiday goods preparation before the beginning of next month.

This year, the price stabilisation network will also be expanded to rural areas./.