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Lower fuel taxes and fees sought as soaring prices weigh on economy

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The ministries of Industry-Trade and Finance have requested the central Government to cut taxes and fees on fuels to drive down the fuel prices that have shot up to all-time highs.

Rising global oil prices have sent domestic fuel prices soaring, placing an unbearable burden on the public and the business community which are still struggling following the destructive fourth wave of Covid infections last year.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, June 16, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that the joint proposal of the two ministries insisted on stronger measures to lower fuel prices. The current situation warrants further tax cuts, Hai said.

Hai said his ministry has reiterated the need to further cut taxes and fees, especially the environment tax and other taxes as the key measure. Fuels are now subject to three other taxes — a 10% value-added tax, a 10% import tax, and a 7-10% special consumption tax.

He also mentioned the role of the fuel price stabilization fund, saying the fund has been pivotal in stabilizing fuel prices over the years.

Hai noted the global oil price spike shows little sign of abating, so social security measures should be taken to support the public and businesses.

Regarding domestic supply, the trade ministry has instructed ten major oil traders to increase imports to sufficiently meet the demand, said Le Viet Nga, deputy head of the Domestic Market Department under the ministry.

Deputy Minister Hai downplayed the prospect of accessing cheaper petrol prices from Malaysia, saying local traders are also buying oil products from this market at prices similar to those in Asia.

The ministry said it is also planning to boost national fuel reserves to 30 days of domestic consumption to prevent fuel supply disruptions.

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