Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked the trade and finance ministries to work out a plan to increase retail electricity prices from next month, online newspaper VnExpress reported Saturday.
In a directive sent to the two ministries on Friday, the premier has also required them to adjust prices of essential items like coal and petrol in accordance with a market-orientated mechanism, the newswire said.
The newspaper quoted an unidentified source from the Ministry of Finance as saying that they were calculating power prices based on input costs, the government's inflation control target, and in consideration of the impact on people' lives.
The government aims to keep inflation at 7 percent or less in 2011.
The last time Vietnam raised its power prices was in March last year. The 6.8 percent hike brought average electricity prices to VND1,037 (US$0.05) per kilowatt hour.
In related news, state utility EVN has said that although its power output is set to increase by 17.63 percent this year, there will be a severe supply shortage of between 3-4 billion kilowatt hours in 2011.