The Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Corporation (Vinacomin) was urged to take prompt measures to sell off remaining coal stocks from the beginning of this year.

The request was made by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai after the corporation reported it had about 7.5 million tonnes of coal in stock by the end of last year.

"Vinacomin needs to be resolved in asking their customers to sign long-term contracts with the producers, which is crucial to the sector's future plan," Hai said at Vinacomin’s conference on January 12.

Vinacomin made a profit of 2.5 trillion VND (120 million USD) from producing 44.5 million tonnes last year, slightly higher than initial plan, but only accounting for 92 percent of 2011's total production.

Hai said the Government is considering restructuring the corporation with a greater focus on its major businesses.

Vinacomin should increase its management capacity and review economic targets in comparison with regional countries for sustainable development.

According to Vinacomin General Director Le Minh Chuan, the corporation had also been proactive in revamping operation of its businesses. It has divested some minor businesses, including one related to a road highway worth 9.5 billion VND and an insurance arm worth 50 billion VND.

Vinacomin plans to sell 43 million tonnes of coal this year, an increase of 3.7 million tonnes from last year; and maintain profits at the level of 2012.

Measures laid out include market-oriented production and discount policies for new customers, as well as improving the operation efficiency of sales channels.-VNA