Power supply will meet the anticipated surge in demand during the dry season this year, said Dang Huy Cuong, director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam.
Kids and their parents shop for school supplies for the new academic year. Prices of stationery and essential goods will be held stable until the lunar new year. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung
HCM CITY — A programme to stabilise prices of products until the Lunar New Year has kept price hikes for many products to a minimum in recent months, experts have said.
The nationwide initiative was based on city-wide programmes initiated by HCM City, Ha Noi and other major cities and provinces in July.
Truong Quang Hoai Nam, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Domestic Market Policies Department, said the prices of products from now to the end of this year would remain stable.
In Ha Noi, the programme in the past was applied only for three months before and after Tet (Lunar New Year), but this year it will last from June to March 2011.
Ha Noi this year has spent VND350 billion (US$18.4 million) on funding the programme, which is run by the Ministry of Finance, to stabilise prices of nine products for 10 months.
Thirteen companies in Ha Noi, including the Northern Food Corporation, Ha Noi Trading Corporation (Hapro), the supermarket chain of Ha Noi Supermarket Association and others, have set up 500 booths in Ha Noi, selling products at lower prices compared to market prices.
Nguyen Van Dong, deputy director of Ha Noi's Department of Industry and Trade, said the programme to stabilise prices had ensured a sufficient supply of many products, especially essential goods, during Tet or other holidays.
Businesses that participate in the programme had committed to ensure reasonable prices of products of 5 – 10 per cent lower than market prices, Dong added.
Meanwhile, HCM City has planned to stabilise prices of products until 2015.
This year, HCM City has spent VND800 billion ($42 million) on the programme, 10 times higher than previous years.
According to HCM City's Department of Industry and Trade, the city has established 1,900 sites selling products at reasonable prices, at least 10 per cent lower than market prices.
Customers are reminded of places that sell products at low prices with posted signs that read "Product sold at stabilised prices".
Besides eight essential goods, the department has ensured stable prices of products for students –books, notebooks, uniforms, pens – for the up-coming new school year, with prices 15 per cent lower than the market.
According to many participating businesses, with the support of the programme, they can borrow money from banks at low or no interest in order to ensure product supply to serve residents at reasonable prices.
Khue Anh, managing director of the Hapro supermarket chain, said despite some obstacles the programme to give long-term loans at special interest rates to businesses had brought mutual benefit to both businesses and consumers.
Due to the long-term loans, businesses have more time to expand production to ensure product supply. As a result, prices can remain at 10 – 15 per cent lower than market prices.
According to reports from many retailers in Ha Noi, although the programme this year has just begun, the number of customers has risen by 10 – 20 per cent.
Nguyen Van Dong, deputy director of Ha Noi's Department of Industry and Trade, said the supply of products at stable prices was able to satisfy market demand from now to the end of this year.
The supply of products at sustained prices for Tet 2011 would rise by up to 40 per cent, meeting market demand, Dong added.
Truong Quang Hoai Nam, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Domestic Market Policies Department, said production has already recovered as electricity supply was stable now, resulting in a sufficient supply of goods.
Vu Vinh Phu, chairman of the Association of Supermarket in Ha Noi, said that concerned agencies need to advise businesses to use the loans most effectively, including buying products early from a wholesalers to get as low price as possible.
Phu also said businesses must provide quality products at reasonable prices and try to listen to customer feedback. — VNS