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HCM City extends stabilisation of prices   2010-03-12 - Viet Nam News

The municipal administration would continue to stabilise prices and supply of essential goods in the remaining months of the year, Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the HCM City People's Committee, said on Wednesday.

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In HCM City, municipal authorities will continue to stabilise prices and supplies of essential goods for the rest of the year.

She was speaking at a meeting held to review the city's programme to stabilise prices and ensure adequate supply during the months before and after the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival that was celebrated last month.

Hong asked all the departments, agencies and companies participating in the programme to continue measures to stabilise prices of eight essential items – rice, sugar, cooking oil, meat, poultry and eggs, processed foods, fruits and vegetables.

She said the committee would urgently implement six measures to stabilise prices and supply of essential goods, including encouraging participating companies to directly produce essential items or co-operate with other producers to increase their supply.

The measures also included setting up more retail sale points, strengthening inspections and strictly punishing sellers who violate pricing regulations, providing soft loans for participating companies and enhancing the role of sectorial associations in stabilising prices, she said.

The city's Department of Industry and Trade was making a plan to stabilise prices and ensure supply of essential goods until 2015 and would submit it to the People's Committee by April, Hong informed the meeting.

The department has asked the committee to subsidise 50 per cent of the interest rate on loans for a period of seven years for investment projects in livestock breeding facilities, animal feed plants, slaughterhouses and food processing plants.

Pham Van Minh, director of the Phu An Sinh Trade and Food Processing Company which participated in the city's price stabilisation programme for this year's Tet festival, said prices of livestock breeds and animal feed had increased continuously in recent years because they are mostly controlled by foreign – invested companies.

The city should invest in producing these two items to help farmers cut production costs, Minh said.

Stabilisation loans

For the Tet festival, which fell on February 14 this year, the city People's Committee provided interest-free loans worth VND422 billion (US$24.8 million) to 13 foodstuff companies to stabilise prices and ensure adequate supply of eight essential items, said the Department of Industry and Trade.

In return, the companies sold these items at 10 per cent below market prices.

Quach To Dung, deputy director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said the 13 companies had supplied a total of 9,000 tonnes of rice and sticky rice, 4,100 tonnes of sugar, 1,500 tonnes of cooking oil, 8,000 tones of red meat, 3,000 tonnes of poultry meat, 25 million poultry eggs, 3,000 tonnes of processed food and 2,000 tonnes of vegetables and fruits.

The quantity of goods accounted for 30 per cent of the city's total demand for essential goods during the festival season, Dung said.

The city administration has been implementing the Tet festival price stabilisation programme for the last seven years.

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