Gov't to let market decide commodity prices

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The government will stop controlling prices of several key commodities this year, leaving them for the market to decide, says Finance Minister Vu Van Ninh.

The government will, "at a suitable time", allow prices of commodities like electricity, coal, water and other important resources to be decided by the market, Ninh said in an interview published on news website VnExpress on Sunday.

"We (finance officials) have discussed many measures, including administering prices in line with market forces," he said. "We respect the right of producers and traders to set their own prices and keep them competitive."

Ninh said the government will draft a new law on prices and amend other regulations concerning price assessment and penalties for violations.

He said it was necessary to make sure that prices will not surge dramatically once they are left to be decided by supply and demand factors.

The General Statistics Office said the consumer price index rose 1.74 percent in January from December, and 12.17 percent from a year earlier.

Ninh said consumer prices will continue to rise this year, though at a slower pace than 2010. In order to keep inflation at no more than 7 percent, the country will need to boost production and supply of goods, especially of essential products, he said.

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