Vietnam has ordered local fuel traders not to raise prices and allowed them to draw from a state reserve fund to maintain stable prices and offset losses, VnExpress reported Thursday.
Fuel companies have been approved to draw VND550 from the fund for every liter of gasoline and diesel sold and VND700 for every liter of kerosene, starting Friday.
The decision came as fuel traders said they are incurring losses of around VND1,000 per liter of gasoline due to a jump in the price of oil products imported from Singapore.
The government has ordered businesses to keep fuel, coal and power prices stable through the end of this year as the country strives to maintain an annual inflation rate of under 8 percent.
Earlier this month, the National Assembly People's Aspiration Committee questioned the validity of the fund, saying that local consumers have paid VND300 to VND500 per liter into the fund since 2009 without enjoying any clear benefits from it.
According to the Ministry of Finance, as of the end of July, local fuel traders set aside more than VND3.6 trillion of their revenues for the fund and about VND1.05 trillion has been spent, thus far.
Each fuel company is authorized to manage their own reserves, but they need the government's consent before they can tap into the fund.