Fuel prices cut, import taxes raised - again

(08/12/2008)

The government Monday cut fuel prices and increased fuel import tariffs, for the third time in less than a month, in reaction to the continued fall of world oil prices.

The most popular 92-octane gasoline will now retail for VND12,000 (73 US cents) a liter, a decrease of VND1,000 or 7.7 percent, according to a press release from the Ministry of Finance.

The price of diesel will fall to VND12,000 a liter from VND13,000 and kerosene will sell for VND13,000 (78 cents) per liter from VND13,500, the release said.

“Since crude oil prices have tumbled a lot, we need to reduce retail prices in the domestic market to protect consumers’ interests,”

Nguyen Tien Thoa, head of the price-control department at the Ministry of Finance, said in an interview with Bloomberg Monday.

Crude oil for January delivery fell as much as $2.03, or 3.7 percent, to $52.40 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. New York oil futures have tumbled 64 percent from their July 11 record of $147.27 a barrel as the US, Europe and Japan headed for their first simultaneous recession since World War II.

As from today, import tariffs on gasoline, kerosene and mazut, a low-quality oil used by generating plants, will rise to 35 percent from 25 percent.

The government cut fuel prices on the 15th of last month and three days later raised fuel import taxes.

In early November, the Ministry of Finance recommended an increase in fuel import taxes to increase government revenue, which may not meet its targets because world oil prices have fallen below the projected figures used to set the government targets.

Vietnam, Southeast Asia’s third-largest crude oil producer, still imports most of its oil products due to a lack of refineries. Its first oil refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai is expected to come on stream next February.

Source: www.thanhniennews.com

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