Tax hike sends gas price soaring
By Minh Tam - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Gas prices are set to increase VND11,000-12,000 per 12-kilo container today after the Ministry of Finance raised the import tax rate to 5% on Wednesday.
|A Saigon Petro depot. Gas prices are set to increase VND11,000-12,000 per 12-kilo container today after the Ministry of Finance raised the import tax rate to 5% on Wednesday - Photo: Minh Tam|
Le Thi Anh Man, deputy general director of Saigon Petro, told the Daily that the company’s SP gas would increase by VND11,000 per 12-kilo container starting today, sending the maximum retail price to VND351,000 each container.
Similarly, Huynh Ngoc Tue, sales manager of Petrolimex Gas, said his company would increase gas prices by VND11,000 per 12-kilo container. The new price of VND352,000 per 12-kilo cylinder is applicable today.
Meanwhile, Le Quang Tuan, sales manager of Pacific Petro, informed that new gas prices with a VND12,000 increase would be applied from 12 p.m. today, taking the maximum retail price in HCMC from VND340,000 to VND352,000 per 12-kilo container.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Finance Ministry issued Circular 100/2012/TT-BTC signed by deputy minister Vu Thi Mai, deciding to increase the gas import tax rate from 0% to 5%, applicable for shipments going through customs starting from Wednesday.
Commenting on the tax hike, Man said the move was necessary, but she would prefer if it was done at the beginning of the month rather than in the middle. As global contract prices were determined at the start of the month, it would be easier for gas traders to adjust prices than at the moment, she explained.
“With Dung Quat Oil Refinery halting operation this month, forcing traders to buy gas abroad, whether gas prices are hiked or cut does not exert any pressure, because domestic and international goods are levied the same import tax rate,” said Man.
Following the tax increase, the ministry sent Dispatch 8261/BTC-QLG to gas wholesalers and local financial departments, asking the receivers to carry out price registration and market stabilization.
In particular, gas wholesalers have to review cost savings to help stabilize output prices, register domestic gas prices and direct their sales agents and retail stores to comply with price registration as prescribed by law. Moreover, wholesalers are not allowed to take advantage of the tax hike to unreasonably increase prices.
Local financial departments are responsible for supervising gas price registration, taking measures to stabilize the gas market and strictly handling violations.