VCN- Just over a week until the Lunar New Year of 2018, the financial sector in general and the Price Management Department in particular is urgently deploying solutions to ensure market price stability. Customs Newspaper has exchanged with Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan - Director of Price Management Department, Ministry of Finance (photo) on these solutions.
Recently, the General Statistics Office published the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in January 2018 increased 0.51% compared with the previous month. How do you rate the price fluctuation of the first month of 2018?
CPI in Jan. 2018 increased by 0.51% compared to December 2017, higher than the previous month (December 2017 increased 0.21%, November 2017 increased 0.13%). However, this is the average increase and the annual rule for the months adjacent to Tet in recent years. For example, CPI in January 2014 increased by 0.55%, in January 2015 by 0.2%, in January 2013 by 0.42% and in January 2017 by 0.46%.
According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), CPI structure in Jan. 2018 increased mainly in groups of goods and services that were allowed to adjust according to the schedule such as: Health service price increased 2.34%, impact on CPI overall increase of 0.09%; Electricity price increased by 6.08%, affecting the overall CPI by 0.07%. In addition, some commodity groups increased by the rule of supply and demand before Tet, such as food and food service increased by 0.44%, contributing to the overall CPI in Jan. 2018 increased by 0.159%; Traffic increased by 1.17%, contributing 0.119% in January.
Basic inflation (CPI after excluding food, fresh food, energy and commodities managed by the State including health services and education services) increased only 0.18% compared with the previous month, the average CPI in January of 2018 was only 2.65% higher than in January, much lower than the target of controlling inflation in 2018 about 4% by the National Assembly. This shows that the price index in January 2018, increased by 0.51% according to the law, still in control and in accordance with the scenario of price management by the ministries, agencies and state management agencies.
In order to strengthen the management, operation and price stabilization during the Lunar New Year, the Prime Minister issued Directive No. 48/CT-TTg, and Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, Head of the Steering Committee, the Minister of Finance has also issued Directive 04/CT-BTC. Could you tell us how the Price Administration has been and will be implementing the direction of the Government and the Ministry of Finance?
The price management department has organized the actual situation in some important areas representing all three regions of North - Central - South; coordinating with functional units under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work in some localities on the preparation of resources for the Lunar New Year 2018 in some provinces.
Preliminary indicators show that the localities have closely monitored the supply and demand of food and consumer goods before Tet; To take initiative in preparing abundant commodities and reasonable prices to meet the consumption demands of people, especially people in deep-lying and remote areas, so as not to cause imbalances in supply and demand with prices destabilization in the market with prices of goods and services; Strengthening the implementation of the Market Price Stabilization Program combined with bringing Vietnamese goods to the rural areas, stepping up the socialization of the Market Stabilization Program, encouraging enterprises to voluntarily participate without loan support from State budget.
On measures to continue managing, administering and stabilizing the market before, during and after Lunar New Year, 2018, based on the assigned tasks, the Price Management Department will actively coordinate together with the functional units under the ministries, branches and the People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government to continue closely monitoring the market supply and demand changes in order to take measures to stabilize prices in time according to the provisions of law by effectively coordinating the supply and demand of goods and transport during the Tet holiday; To pay attention to the control of prices of goods and services with high demand such as transport and tourist services at places of entertainment, visits and festivals; Promote the propaganda and guide people to the place of selling clean goods, stabilized prices, reflect honestly on supply and demand of food and foodstuff.
Along with that, we will also strengthen the management inspection, inspection of compliance with the provisions of law on prices associated with the inspection of compliance with tax law and fees. The phenomenon of taking advantage of the increase in electricity prices, the prices of petrol and oil to increase the price of chains, is not suitable to the impact of electricity and petrol costs, and prices of goods and services are not allowed.
The inspection and supervision of the quality of food hygiene and safety, especially for food items for Tet will be focused on, in addition to strengthening information and communication on management, executing, and limiting information confusing consumers and destabilizing the market.
In Resolution No. 48/2017/QH14 dated 10th November, 2017 on the Socio-economic Development Plan 2018, the National Assembly set the target of controlling the average consumer price increase to about 4%. This is a big challenge. Could you please tell us the Government's solutions to control the inflation target?
On 1st January, 2018, the Government has issued Resolution No. 01/NQ-CP to implement comprehensively the tasks of the socio-economic development plan and the budget for 2018. For the management and administration of prices in 2018, it will continue to be determined by the Government. There will be many challenges such as the tendency of increasing world oil prices, the adjustment of electricity prices from 1st December 2017, some essential commodities such as health, education according to the roadmap, prices of some foods can be recovered compared with 2017 as well as weather, natural disasters and floods are still complicated.
Therefore, in order to achieve the objective set by the National Assembly, at the end of 2017, the Government instructed ministries and sectors to develop and calculate the detailed price management scenario for 2018, tackling the successes achieved in price management in 2017 to provide concrete solutions to mitigate adverse effects on the price levels in 2018. In Notice No. 66/TB-BCDDHG dated On January 1st, 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, Head of the Steering Committee on Price Management, directed the ministries, branches and localities to take drastic measures to manage and control prices immediately. In the first half of this year, we will take the initiative in coordinating and setting up scenarios for the price of essential goods and items in each period to advise the Government on appropriate solutions to stabilize market prices and control inflation, thus contributing to stabilizing the macro-economy.
In terms of financial tasks, the State budget revenues and expenditures should be tightened, public expenditure and investment efficiency improved; flexible monetary policy, in close coordination with fiscal policy to control core inflation; To take the initiative in setting up scenarios, calculating the level and timing of appropriate adjustment for the implementation of the market roadmap for a number of public services such as education and healthcare.
For essential commodities such as rice and food, it is necessary to continue to implement measures to balance supply and demand, especially during the Tet holiday, as well as during the second quarter. With regard to transport service prices, attention should be paid to the receipt of price declaration, initial cost control and timely response to people's travel needs. With regard to drug prices, it is necessary to continue to expand the bidding for drugs and negotiate prices; Strengthening the reception and supervision of declaration as well as the inspection of milk prices for children under 6 years old.
In addition, it is necessary to attach importance to reviewing and finalizing legal documents (if any) as a legal basis for the implementation of government solutions etc. At the same time, to continue to do communication on management and price control well to avoid inflation expectations.
Thank you, Sir!
By Hồng Vân/ Huu Tuc