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Tuesday,  Jan 16, 2018,14:47 (GMT+7)
RON 95 gasoline base price unrevealed
Lan Nhi
Monday,  Jan 8, 2018,20:35 (GMT+7)
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RON 95 gasoline base price unrevealed

Lan Nhi

A staff member of a gas station in HCMC refills a motorcycle. To make fuel price management transparent, it is necessary to announce the RON 95 gasoline base price - PHOTO: MINH TAM

HANOI – The Ministries of Industry and Trade and Finance did not announce the base price of RON 95 gasoline as usual in the first adjustment of fuel prices this year, which is unreasonable and questionable as the move allows fuel traders to set its price on their own.

The announcement of fuel retail prices last Thursday was noteworthy as this has been the first adjustment of fuel prices since RON 92 petrol was banned from the market nationwide early this year. Thus, only E5 bio-gasoline and RON 95 gasoline are available on the market.

The retail price of E5 bio-fuel remains unchanged at VND18,243 per liter, but traders can tap VND857 for each liter sold from the national fuel price stabilization fund, above VND546 in the previous adjustment, as competent agencies want to encourage the use of E5 bio-fuel. According to statistics of fuel traders, E5 volume consumed in the first three days of 2018 accounted for 60% of the total and the remaining 40% was RON 95.

However, the RON 95 gasoline base price was not announced by the ministries. A representative of the two ministries explained that the RON 95 gasoline price has never been publicized before and there is no law forcing them to publish such information.

Following the announcement, the retail price of RON 95 gasoline surged by VND810 per liter. According to Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), the product costs VND20,290 a liter compared to the previous price of VND19,480, heavily affecting consumers.

According to Article 39 of Decree 83/CP on fuel price transparency, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is responsible for publicizing on its website global prices, base prices and current retail prices of petrol and oil products. The prices of such products being made public will help consumers and enterprises make price comparisons, especially when RON 92 was banned from the market and the Government wants to encourage consumers to use E5 bio-fuel which is environmentally-friendly and cheaper than RON 95 gasoline.

Thus, it is a must for competent agencies to announce the base price of RON 95 so that consumers and enterprises can assess effects of fuel price hikes. Besides, no legal documents state that the RON 95 gasoline base price can be kept unannounced.

Nguyen Tien Thoa, former director of the Price Management Department under the Ministry of Finance, who is now chairman of the Vietnam Valuation Association, said the two ministries had earlier publicized the base price of RON 92 only as a reference to other fuel products’ prices. Normally, the base price of RON 95 petrol is only 2-3% higher than that of RON 92, which usually hovered around VND500 higher per litter.

As such, the sharp increase of RON 95 petrol as well as the wide gap between this fuel and E5 bio-fuel is seen unsuitable.

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