Vietnam: City gov’t to regulate retail activities on essential goods

Vietnam: City gov’t to regulate retail activities on essential goods
Published: 09 July 2008

The municipal government will keep a close eye on the prices of essential goods subject to the Government’s price stabilisation politicies, according to a city official.
Businesses and trading households that intentionally speculate to create artificial shortages of essential goods in the market will be disciplined, said Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the HCM City People’s Committee.
After receiving an official notice from city authorities, Vietnam Cement Corp (Vicem) requested Ha Tien 1 Cement Company to closely monitor its distribution system, said Tran Viet Thang, assistant to Vicem’s General Director.
At the end of May, 125 retail shops belonging to Ha Tien 1’s distribution system signed a contract to sell 50 kilogram cement bags at VND72,000 (US$4.3) each.
Ha Tien 1 will stop or reduce the amount of cement delivered to those distributors that sell higher than the agreed upon price, according to company director Ngo Minh Lang.
Last week, most retail shops in Districts 4, 6 and 8 stuck to their words and sold bags for VND72,000.
This was a positive signal after authorities implemented drastic measures to control cement prices in the area, said Le Xuan Dai, deputy head of the city Market Watch Department.
The city Market Watch Department will continue to examine the distribution systems of other cement companies, such as Holcim, Cotec and Fico, Dai added. "We will ask retailers to show their buying invoices so we can compare them with their selling prices, and we will discipline those retailers that do not have invoices."