Ministries rebuked for opaque fuel management

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The State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) has pointed out shortcomings by the Ministries of Industry-Trade and Finance in overseeing fuel prices in the 2015-2016 period, especially in the provision of information, news website Dan Tri reports.

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Consumers buy petrol at a filling station in HCMC in this file photo. Many people are frustrated by the failure of the Ministries of Industry-Trade and Finance to provide the base price of RON95 gasoline

The two ministries have periodically announced the base prices of RON 92 gasoline and diesel oil 0.05S as mandated in the period. However, the base prices of diesel 0.25S and RON 95 gasoline, a higher-grade type of fossil gasoline, were excluded from 23 and 47 price adjustment periods respectively, according to SAV.

Besides, SAV said these ministries failed to provide fuel price adjustment information in a proper manner.

The information released on their website lacked dates, and is normally available only after fuel prices have been adjusted. Therefore, the effectiveness of information disclosure was not as high as expected.

Taking these issues into account, SAV asked the ministries calculate the base prices of all kinds of fuel on the domestic market, and fully publish relevant information.

Public disagreement over the poor disclosure of fuel management information has been striking lately, especially after the price of RON95 gasoline has risen sharply this year, by VND760-810 and VND290-300 per liter in the two latest periods of adjustment. The interval between periods of adjustment is set at 15 days.

According to the ministries, this kind of gasoline is not popular, so they have allowed fuel traders to fix its retail prices on their own. However, the public has been skeptical about the transparency of the move.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue on January 11 asked the two ministries and relevant agencies to keep a close eye on sales of RON 95 gasoline and E5 RON92 bio-fuel which meet Euro 3 and 4 emissions standards in the first quarter of this year. They were told to calculate the base prices of fuel products in line with market conditions and prevailing regulations.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also demanded the ministries report on the recent fuel price volatility.

They are told to calculate differences in fuel prices, give reasons and present detailed assessments of fuel-related taxes and fees, and of the use of the national fuel price stabilization fund.

Source: VietNamNet

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