|Deputy Minister of Finance Ta Anh Tuan|
In the previous working session, the Government reported on the draft Law on Prices (revised) which will remove some bottlenecks of the prevailing law; could you share more details about these contents?
The current Law on Prices was adopted by the National Assembly in 2012 and took effect on January 1, 2013, and has achieved many positive results so far.
However, with the socio-economic development and international integration, the Ministry of Finance has assessed, reviewed and submitted to the Government to submit to the National Assembly Standing Committee a report on amendments to the Law on Prices, which will be commented on at this session.
The draft Law on Prices (revised) maintains market principles, is under the State management and complies with the Party and State’s general policy of a Socialist-oriented market economy. Accordingly, the draft Law on Prices (revised) will improve nine major groups of contents: List of goods and services priced by the State; valuation method; price stabilization; price declaration; price negotiation; market price synthesis, analysis and forecast; conditions for valuation companies; conditions for price appraisers; and State valuation activities.
Price management is now regulated by the Law on Prices and many other specialized laws. Therefore, in the process of developing the draft, the Ministry of Finance will cover and review to avoid overlap between the Law on Prices and specialized laws, especially those products and services priced by the State.
Through the review, there are currently 52 products priced by the State under the Law on Prices and specialized laws. We will also review to remove 14 products from the list and add two products and services including textbooks and defense and security products under order contracts and task assignments to this list.
In addition, the draft Law on Prices (revised) will also add regulations on decentralization, and delegation of powers and responsibilities of all levels and sectors, especially ministries and local authorities in price management in order to avoid overlap and contradiction as well as responsibility shifting in price stabilization.
For price appraisal work, the provisions of the draft must ensure professionalism, clarity, and enhance the responsibility of valuation companies and price appraisers
The draft Law on Prices (revised) adds two products and services to the list of products priced by the State, including textbooks. Could you give more information on this?
Textbooks are a special commodity that affects most households in Vietnam. In the drafting of the Law on Prices (revised), the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Finance reported to the National Assembly Standing Committee to include textbooks on the current list of goods and services priced by the State.
However, to be cautious, the National Assembly Standing Committee proposed to add textbooks to the new list of goods and services priced by the State into the Law on Prices (revised). Based on the opinions of voters as well as opinions of the National Assembly deputies, this item will be included in the list. Accordingly, the Ministry of Education and Training will provide the maximum price for textbooks and publishers will decide on specific prices to ensure the flexibility and initiative of publishers as well as avoid the abnormal price increase of textbooks.
Another interesting content in the draft Law on Price (revised) is that for the content of the Petroleum Price Stabilization Fund, which is of great interest, why does the Government propose to keep this Stabilization Fund?
Price stabilization is a very important task in the price management process. All countries must implement price stabilization, including stabilizing the level of price stabilization products. We also have solutions to stabilize prices in terms of finance – currency; supply and demand solutions and market management solutions. Thus, the Price Stabilization Fund is just one of the solutions for price stabilization.
The Petroleum Price Stabilization Fund specified in Decree 84/2009/ND-CP dated October 15, 2009 of the Government on petrol and oil trading, then in Decree 83/2014/ND-CP, now in Decree 95/2021/ND-CP. Thus, when the National Assembly approved the Law on Prices in 2012, the Petroleum Price Stabilization Fund was established.
Currently, there are many different opinions about the Petroleum Price Stabilization Fund and the publicity and transparency in the provisioning and use of the fund. However, petroleum and a strategic commodity and have a great impact on the CPI of the economy and petrol prices in the domestic and international markets have fluctuated erratically, at the request of ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Government has decided to continue maintaining the fund in the current period to avoid excessive fluctuations in petrol prices.
For the principle of price stabilization, price stabilization is applied when prices go up and down erratically.
|Amending Law on Prices: regulating specifically on price negotiation|
Currently, the drafting committee of the Law on Prices (revised) has proposed options for the Price Stabilization Fund, including an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Finally, in the current context, the Government will maintain the fund. However, in the long run, we must persist in following market principles.