No hike in power prices, medical fees, Vietnam PM orders

By Anh Minh   July 4, 2018 | 12:42 am PT
No hike in power prices, medical fees, Vietnam PM orders
A man works at a mechanical factory in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 30, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Kham
At CPI of 3.29 percent in the first half of 2018, it would be difficult to control CPI of the whole year to below four percent as targeted.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc banned any increase in electricity prices and medical fees for the rest of the year, aiming to keep the inflation rate below 4 percent and achieve a GDP growth of 6.7 percent in 2018.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) in May and June had already increased 0.55 percent and 0.61 percent respectively, pushing the CPI to 3.29 percent as of June 2018, said Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung at a regular cabinet meeting on July 2.

“At this rate, it would be difficult to control 2018 CPI to below four percent,” he said.

Addressing at the meeting, Phuc also affirmed the government’s determination to achieve GDP growths of 6.53 percent and 6.36 percent in the third and fourth quarter respectively.

The prime minister said high growth targets were important for reducing public debt, increasing budget revenues and creating jobs.

Phuc also mentioned the positive impacts of high growth in 2017, which generated VND5 quadrillion ($217.4 billion) and helped reduce public debt to over 61 percent of GDP from some 64 percent in 2016.

Vietnam’s GDP in the first half of 2018 increased 7.08 percent, the highest ever recorded in the same period since 2011.

However, Dung said 2017’s performance will be difficult to replicate because some “breakthrough” factors are absent this year.

He said achieving higher GDP growth in the second half of 2018 would be challenging because key driving-forces for growth in the next six months were not as clear as in 2017.

He urged the Government, therefore, to focus on reviewing and accelerating the progress of large projects. For the next six months, Dung suggested that the strategy should focus on tight coordination, flexible management, and accelerated economic restructuring to promote quality development.

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