In­fla­tion likely to stay un­der 4% this year

Viet Nam News - - NATIONAL -

HAØ NOÄI — Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Vöông Ñình Hueä yes­ter­day praised the Gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to con­trol in­fla­tion.

He was speak­ing as the rate was pre­dicted to stay be­low the ini­tial tar­get of four per cent this year.

It was re­ported at the third quar­terly meet­ing of the Steer­ing Com­mit­tee on Price Man­age­ment that the con­sumer price in­dex (CPI) – a typ­i­cal mea­sure to cal­cu­late in­fla­tion – in Septem­ber in­creased by 0.59 per cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous month. It made the CPI climb by 3.57 per cent in the first nine months this year.

The CPI’s move­ments over the three quar­ters was rel­a­tively close to the Gov­ern­ment’s ini­tial fore­casts, said the re­port, which cor­rectly pre­dicted a num­ber of fac­tors af­fect­ing prices like the Lu­nar New Year and other hol­i­day events.

Deputy PM Hueä said it was a suc­cess for the Gov­ern­ment to keep the prices in con­trol this month.

“We let the prices of sev­eral ba­sic com­modi­ties float on a mar­ket-based ba­sis while at the same time grad­u­ally started the mar­ket­based pric­ing for pub­lic ser­vices and prod­ucts that were orig­i­nally con­trolled by the State in the con­text of a global pric­ing tur­bu­lence and hor­ren­dous nat­u­ral dis­as­ters,” he said.

“With all that, an in­crease of only 0.59 per cent of the CPI in Septem­ber is re­ally a tri­umph.”

The price man­age­ment work in the re­main­ing months of 2018 was pre­dicted to fol­low pre­vi­ous fore­casts, Hueä said.

They would in­clude a high growth of agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion which pro­vides a sta­ble out­put of food and a de­creas­ing pric­ing trend of com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices as well as a tightly con­trolled fi­nance and credit sup­ply.

The cost for health ser­vices is widely ex­pected to drop by be­tween 15 and 17 per cent in the com­ing months.

That’s be­cause of a new pol­icy to or­gan­ise the so-called ‘cen­tralised drug bid­ding’ to select a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany that can of­fer the best medicine at the low­est price to pro­vide to all health fa­cil­i­ties na­tion­wide.

The Min­istry of Health and the Vieät Nam So­cial In­sur­ance were pre­par­ing the fi­nal stages to be­gin col­lec­tive bid­ding in 2018.

The so­cial in­sur­ance au­thor­ity is plan­ning to run bids for nine ac­tive phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­gre­di­ents in 20 med­i­ca­tion prod­ucts while the health min­istry will be in charge of bid­dings for an­other 27 in­gre­di­ents in 173 drugs.

While both the State Bank and the Gen­eral Statis­tics Of­fice of Vieät Nam pre­dicted in­fla­tion rate this year would stay be­low four per cent – the tar­get set by the Na­tional Assem­bly, the Deputy PM said that it was cru­cial for the Gov­ern­ment to stay on guard to keep in­fla­tion ide­ally be­tween 3.7 and 3.95 per cent.

Hueä asked the min­istries and the lo­cal­i­ties to keep a close eye on the prices of es­sen­tial goods like food and petrol es­pe­cially around Christ­mas and New Year or dur­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters to man­age the goods sup­ply and min­imise the chance of a sud­den price hike.

He also or­dered the Min­istry of In­dus­try and Trade and the Min­istry of Fi­nance to con­sider us­ing the Price Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Fund to keep the petrol price in­crease as low as pos­si­ble.

The two min­istries should also look into cut­ting the spe­cial con­sump­tion tax of the bio-fuel E5 in order to lift the us­age amount of the ethanol fuel mix­ture among Viet­namese road users to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and re­duce the av­er­age petrol price on the mar­ket, Hueä said. — VNS

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