In the recent period, there were many concerns about the substandard quality of petrol and oil and unstable gas prices. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has proposed a raft of solutions to improve the situation.
Central suppliers must be responsible
Regarding control over the quality of petrol and oil, the MoIT said that in the recent period, the market control authorities of centrally governed provinces and cities have dealt with 237 cases relating to the violation of petroleum trading regulations with administrative fines totaling more than VND1.68 billion (violation of regulations on business conditions: 103 cases; prices: nine cases; measurement: 19 cases; quality: 37 cases; illegal export: two cases; other violations: 48 cases), and revoked the business licenses of 13 filling stations.
To tighten petroleum quality management in the coming period, the MoIT has provided guidelines for the Market Control Department to coordinate with concerned authorities to intensify controls under the guidance of the Government in order to find out and deal strictly with violations in accordance with existing regulations, especially those related to the quality of petrol and oil and the conditions which petroleum businesses must meet. Under existing regulations, each general agent is allowed to sign a contract with only one central petroleum supplier; similarly, each agent is allowed to sign contract with only one general agent or a central supplier. The Domestic Market Department has been assigned to act as a liaison office to receive the opinions of concerned organizations and individuals as well as to review the implementation of the stipulations in Governmental Decree 84/2009/ND-CP dated October 15, 2009 regarding petroleum trading and Circular 36/2009/TT-BCT dated December 14, 2009 of the Minister of Industry and Trade indicating the regulations applied to petroleum agents in order to increase the responsibility of central suppliers, general agents, agents and filling stations for management of petrol and oil quality. The Domestic Market Department must coordinate with the Ministry of Finance to check and propose necessary amendments to existing regulations relating to petroleum trading, for example prices, circulation cost and commission for agents. Other organizations concerned of the MoIT must coordinate to review the implementation of policies and regulations relating to the management of import, production and circulation of the chemicals that are petrol additives and solvents so as to minimize the trade frauds which affect the quality of petrol and oil products sold in the market.
The MoIT has required central suppliers to be responsible for the quality of petrol and oil throughout their distribution networks (in all stages including import, storage, transportation and retail). To fulfill this responsibility, central suppliers must check and tighten quality controls in each stage, from import to retail. In addition, they must intensify control over petrol and oil transportation from the storage facilities of central suppliers to general agents and agents as well as from general agents to filling stations. Central suppliers must take the initiative in providing the mass media and consumers with information about the results of quality control. They must cooperate with relevant State management authorities at central and local levels, especially the Departments of Industry and Trade, the Departments of Science and Technology, and branches of the Market Control Department in provinces and cities, in examining and monitoring the distribution of petrol and oil in order to find out and deal on a timely basis with violations.
Efforts to stabilize gas market
Regarding control over the quality and prices of gas, the MoIT said that in the recent period, the Vietnam Gas Association has played well its role as a link between State management authorities and gas businesses. The association has maintained close coordination with the MoIT in dealing with the petitions of gas businesses regarding the enforcement of Decree 107/2009/ND-CP and Circular 11/2010/TT-BCT dated March 29, 2010 of the Minister of Industry and Trade, which indicate the regulations applied to LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) agents.
To put the gas market in good order for the interest of consumers and lawful businesses, the MoIT has requested the Vietnam Gas Association to continue to bring into play its role, especially in coordinating with concerned State authorities, to ensure effective enforcement of legal documents regarding gas trading. The association must cooperate with the mass media to increase propaganda on safe use of gas and inform the market control officials and other State authorities concerned about the violation of existing regulations on gas trading. On their side, gas businesses must seriously follow Prime Ministerial Instruction 04/CT-TTg dated January 20, 2012 pertaining to tightening control and treatment of violations of existing regulations on petrol, oil and LPG trading. At the same time, they must follow all regulations relating to pricing, distribution and retail agents.
The Domestic Market Department is responsible for maintaining the exchange of information about gas policies as well as the situation of the gas market with the Vietnam Gas Association. The Market Control Department's task is intensifying propaganda and promoting the implementation of Decree 105/2011/ND-CP dated November 16, 2011 that contains stipulations on administrative fines imposed on those who violate the regulations on LPG trading. This department must continue to provide local market control officials with guidelines so that they can increase control and deal strictly with violations. Illegal gas bottling must be prevented. Businesses which violate the regulations relating to gas prices must be fined. The MoIT has required the Export-Import Department to coordinate with concerned authorities to propose suitable exchange rate policies that allow businesses to take the initiative in importing gas. The General Department of Energy will be responsible for dealing with businesses' petitions pertaining to the auction sale of domestically made LPG.
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