Dollar sales rampant despite ban

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VietNam News English - 39 month(s) ago 16 readings

Enterprises providing services for foreigners and selling imported products are still quoting prices in US dollars although it is against the law.

HCM CITY —

Along the streets frequented by backpackers – Pham Ngu Lao, Bui Vien, and De Tham in District 1 – service providers use the dollar as standard currency in trading.

Five companies on Pham Ngu Lao Street, including the Viet Nhat Trading and Tourist Joint Stock Company and dozens of stores on Bui Vien Street, quote their prices in dollars This is also true of several stores selling imported electronic products in HCM City.

Truong Thi Xuan Tien, marketing manager of Vien Tin International Joint Stock Company, defended the practice, saying: "Selling prices are in US dollars, then they are converted into Viet Nam dong for payment."

Hundreds of real estate companies also quote the prices of a house for lease or sale in on websites like nhathuesaigon.com, vatgia.com and muaban.net.

Nguyen Ngoc Le, a real estate trader, said prices of houses or offices for rent or sale in the city centre are quoted in dollar because his customers are mostly overseas Vietnamese (Viet Kieu) and foreigners.

"We sign contracts in US dollars but payments are made in Viet Nam dollar ," Le added.

An article in a Government's Decree that lists fines for violating regulations on declaring, registering and quoting prices of goods and service took effect in 2008.

The article imposes fines of between VND20 million and VND30 million for quoting prices or selling goods and services in foreign currencies without permission.

It also says that "repeated violations and recidivism" will attract severe additional sanctions including suspension of business licenses for up to 12 months or more, depending on specific circumstances.

While the law is clear and strict, enforcement has been lax, allowing the practice of quoting dollar prices to flourish, the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) reports. — VNS

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