Government inspectors to investigate power price hike

10:42 | 10/05/2019 Industry

Government inspectors will investigate the latest power price increase by 8.36 percent to 1,864 VND (8.03 US cents) per kWh from March 20 following concerns among the public.

Consumers have raised concerns over the significant increase in April's electricity bills - Photo:

According to a document sent by the Government Office, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Government Inspectorate to work with the Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Finance to study the price calculation method of electricity bills and their collection. The inspectorate and the two ministries should clarify whether the electricity price hike was right or wrong and report to the PM by next month.

The document said the PM’s decision follows many households complaining about sudden and significant increases in their electricity invoices for April.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the ministry shared people’s concerns about the rise in their electricity bills last month. However, the ministries had reviewed all effects of the increase on people’s lives and the CPI with the participation of the General Statistics Office (GSO) before submitting the power increase to the Government for consideration.

The Vietnam Electricity (EVN) said that the surge in bills was only partially due to the increase in electricity prices. It was unusually hot weather that caused power consumption to spike, resulting in higher bills.

The prices of many essential goods and services have risen sharply following the recent hikes in electricity and petrol prices.

In the year to date, oil prices have increased four times by a total of 4,591 VND per litre for RON 95 gasoline and 4,418 VND for E5 gasoline.

According to farm produce wholesale markets in HCM City, the increase in fuel prices inevitably led to higher transportation costs of fruits and vegetables from elsewhere to the city. At traditional markets, the prices of most goods have gone up.

Bui Van Quan, Chairman of the HCM City Cargo Transportation Association, said with oil prices rising several times recently, transport companies had been forced to negotiate freight rates with customers.

The rise in electricity prices has increased the prices of a number of other goods such as tyres and lubricants, affecting transport companies. “Input costs have increased relentlessly, forcing enterprises to adjust freight rates. If customers agree to the new rates we will offer them services, but otherwise not. We cannot afford further losses.”

According to the General Statistics Office, the consumer price index (CPI) has risen by 2.71 percent year-on-year this year.

In April, it rose 0.31 percent, representing a 2.93 percent increase year-on-year.

Of the basket of goods and services that make up the CPI, in April transportation saw the highest increase at 4.29 percent.