Vietnam legislators want increased competition for power market

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Vietnamese legislators has said the government should not wait another 10 years before breaking the monopoly in the electricity market, calling for regular audits of power prices.

Bui Thi An said consumers would benefit from a competitive market and state utility Electricity of Vietnam should not be allowed to control the whole sector for too long.

As long as pricing policies are transparent and follow market rules, the public will accept even higher prices, the Hanoi representative told a National Assembly meeting Wednesday.

The government plans to restructure the electricity market in three steps creating a competitive power generation market by 2014, a wholesale market by 2022, and a competitive retail market after 2022.

Deputy Trinh The Khiet, also from Hanoi, said the utility, also known as EVN, could not develop the electricity sector alone. He said while the company had huge losses, it has expanded to other sectors outside its main business scope and continued to pay high salaries for its staff.

Nguyen Thi Hai from Nghe An Province said to make sure EVN is not abusing its market position, the government should audit the company every six months.


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"Prices can be higher, but there has to be full disclosure"¦ Now there is no transparency, raising doubts among the public about EVN's developent and its business results," she said.

Power prices are still subsidized by the government.

EVN said in May that it was considering a plan to raise power prices by up to 10 percent due to increased input costs. The most recent hike was last December, when the average power tariff was increased by 5 percent to VND1,304 per kilowatt-hour.

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