Vietnam raises gasoline prices by 10 percent

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The Ministry of Finance Wednesday allowed traders to raise retail gasoline prices by 10 percent, saying it is warranted by the steep rise in world fuel prices.

The most commonly used fuel grade in Vietnam, 92-RON gasoline, now retails at VND22,900 per liter, compared to VND20,800 previously, news website VnExpress reported, citing a ministry decision.

Prices of other products, including kerosene, diesel and mazut, were increased by VND600-2,000 per liter.

The Ministry of Finance late last month decided to remove the 4 percent import taxes on gasoline and jet fuel. The tariff on kerosene has been cut from 5 percent to 3 percent.

According to the ministry, fuel prices have been soaring and if the taxes had not been cut, retail prices would have to be raised by between VND4,200 and VND6,500 per liter.

The price hike, the first in 11 months, came after several importers, including PV Oil, sought permission to raise retail prices.

Vo Van Quyen, director of the Domestic Market Department at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, told a press briefing on Monday that prices have to be increased to prevent losses for businesses even though a hike would cause inflation to speed up.

Vietnam's consumer prices climbed 16.44 percent in February from a year earlier.

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