Ministry says no petrol price hike for now

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade has rejected recent rumors of a petrol price hike, saying that it will impose strict penalties on retailers trying to withhold sales.

There has been talk of a possible hike as some fuel traders cut back on selling. However, the authorities do not have any plan to raise petrol prices at this moment, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

It also said that it has ordered petrol companies to ensure supply for the market.

Vietnam, in an unexpected move, raised fuel prices by 10 percent on March 29. The increase followed an 18 percent hike on February 24. A liter of petrol now retails at VND21,300 and a liter of diesel at VND 21,000.

Economists said the petrol hike, combined with a recent increase in electricity prices, drove inflation to its peak in April. Consumer prices climbed 17.51 percent in April from a year earlier.

News website VnExpress on Wednesday cited fuel distributors as saying that they did not send any proposal to increase prices to the government.

Nguyen Tien Thoa, director of the price control department at the Ministry of Finance, said oil prices are rising around the world, but there is no plan for a price hike in Vietnam yet.

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