Vietnam set to increase coal export tax

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The Finance Ministry is considering raising the export tax on coal to 20 percent from 15 percent as a move to protect dwindling reserves, news website VnExpress reported Friday.

It cited a ministry source as saying a higher tax rate will help restrict exports as coal reserves are thinning and the country, a major coal exporter, imported the fuel from Indonesia for the first time last week.

National mining group Vinacomin plans to import about 10 million tons of coal in 2012, and this is expected to gradually increase to 100 million tons by 2020, the report said.

"We are really worried about this and it's time to impose a high tax on coal exports to prevent exhausting the natural resources," a finance ministry official told VnExpress.

The ministry recently issued a circular raising the export duty on iron ore to 40 percent from 30 percent now to ensure raw material supplies for the domestic steel industry. The new tax rate will come into effect July 2.

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