HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Transport businesses must adjust transport fees in accordance with changes in fuel prices; otherwise, they may have their business license withdrawn, according to a Ministry of Finance document released yesterday.
The Ministry of Transport (MOT) is required to strengthen the management of transport fees by asking transport businesses to declare transport fees and collaborate with Department of Finance to examine and inspect the businesses' declaration and listing of transport fees. Violators must be subjected to strict punishment.
Previously, the finance ministry sent a document on August asking the MOT to urge businesses to reduce transport fees given that fuel costs had reduced.
By December 18, fuel prices had been adjusted for the 23rd time since early this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
There has been a sharp decline in fuel price since mid September this year while transport fees remain unchanged, Head of the Ministry of Finance (MOF)'s Cost Management Sector, Nguyen Anh Tuan told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Diesel 0.05S price in December 18 dropped to VND11,980 (50 US cents) per litre, a reduction of 25.5 per cent compared to that in July 1. The drop in diesel price helped to reduce 8.9 to 11.5 per cent of vehicles' transport costs, according to the MOF.
Based on the drop in fuel price, the MOF asked the MOT to direct localities' transport departments and finance departments to collaborate with related authorities to strengthen management of transport fees to help stabilise costs, said Tuan.
While fuel costs, which account for 30 to 40 per cent of transport fees, dropped sharply, it is unreasonable that transport fees remain unchanged, said Tuan.
The economy and consumers often benefited from a drop in fuel price; however, transport businesses had delayed reducing fees or offering a rate that was not equivalent to the decreasing trend of fuel price for the last two years, said former Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Phan The Rue.
Management agencies needed to be more determined and have tighter inspections over price management especially when transport fees have a big impact on goods prices, Rue said.
Due to inappropriate price management mechanisms, the law on price had not yet been fully implemented, said former Deputy Head of the MOF's Market and Price Research Institute, Ngo Tri Long.
Businesses should be authorised to determine fees by themselves and be exempt from reporting to the government when fees are adjusted, said Long.
It is necessary that the authorities follow and inspect businesses' activities. Violators need to be strictly punished and publicised, said Long.
"If businesses delay reducing fees, transport management agencies will not only impose administration fine but also withdraw business licence," said Tuan.
"The Government may need to suspend businesses' operation if delays in price reductions continue," said Rue. — VNS