Electricity will remain a special commodity whose prices should be determined by the government, Phung Quoc Hien, chairman of the National Assembly for Finance and Budget, said in a meeting to discuss a draft amendment to the Electricity Law held yesterday in Hanoi.
“Power is still the monopoly of state-run enterprises, so the government should determine prices to avoid the monopolization of prices and profits,” said Hien.
Hien also proposed that the Prime Minister be the one who decides the average power retail price.
Meanwhile, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said the Electricity Group of Vietnam (EVN) is currently functioning as a power generator and distributor, while also buying power from other generators to resell.
Of course EVN can determine its purchase price since it holds the rights to distribute power, said Hung, while adding that this structuring should be revised.
“EVN should only act as a power buyer and seller, while the electricity generating sector should attract the participation of other players,” stated Hung.
Hien also expressed his concern that the draft amendment stipulates too many components to establish power prices, including transmission, distributing, wholesale, and supporting services prices, and the power regulating fees.
“Multiple layers of prices and fees will raise power prices,” said Hien.
In response, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang admitted that “there seems to be too many prices and fees.”
He explained, however, that this is because the country is in the process of restructuring the power sector.
The power sector consists of many different aspects, from generating to transmitting power.
Power transmission is still a state monopoly, but power retailing is set to be mobilised.
“Since there are many aspects and participants in the sector, there should be different prices and fees,” said Hoang.