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Industry ministry orders inspections of gas stations suspending operations

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Industry and Trade has ordered the market surveillance force to inspect those gas stations that have suspended operations and strictly deal with violations, if any, reported the local media.

The ongoing fuel shortfalls show little sign of abating. For instance, gas stations in HCMC are often crowded as they ration gasoline and set up barriers to force customers to queue up, with an aim to restrict sales as much as possible.

According to the order, signed by Minister Nguyen Hong Dien today, November 5, inspection teams will have to determine the reasons for their suspension, and propose measures against those infringing fuel trading rules.

Speaking at a Q&A session of the National Assembly today, the minister said the global oil market had turned more volatile than ever and that strong oil price fluctuations had left adverse impact on domestic gasoline supply.

Gasoline retail businesses in some cities and provinces, especially HCMC and Hanoi, are keeping their gas stations closed or rationing gasoline, thus affecting daily life and business operations, Dien told lawmakers.

In compliance with the prime minister’s Official Dispatch 1039/CD-TTg issued on November 2, the ministry has ordered the market surveillance agencies nationwide to keep inspecting fuel trading operations, tackling violations and coordinating with the local departments of industry and trade to monitor the fuel trading systems.

During their inspections, the market surveillance teams will have to determine whether gas stations are restricting sales or cause artificial fuel shortages.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, speaking at the National Assembly’s Q&A session today, put the blame on the poor coordination between relevant ministries and agencies and their late responses to fast domestic and world market movements.

The Government has instructed these ministries and agencies to quickly solve shortcomings and ensure sufficient fuel supply for daily life and production under any circumstances, he said.

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