Consumers and gas suppliers alike remain concerned over the recent hike in the price of a 12kg cooking gas cylinder by VND80,000 (US$3.8), setting a new price record of VND491,000 a cylinder.
Vietnamese housewives were shocked to learn of the sudden hike from December 1. Now they have no choice but to pay up for this essential commodity.
Housewife Nguyen Thi Tam in District 12 said her family of eight members consumes an average of two 12kg gas cylinders a month.
Accordingly she has to pay an additional amount of VND150,000 ($7.1) per month even as price of electricity, water, and other essential commodities have also increased since the beginning of the year.
This recent and sudden hike in price of cooking gas cylinder has added more worry to households.
Similarly, Nguyen Thi Sanh in Tan Phu District said she owns a restaurant that sells rice and the restaurant consumes seven 12kg gas cylinders a month. Her facility will incur an overrun loss of VND600,000 ($28.4) per month due to this hike.
She is having a tough time in coping with this extra cost and cannot hike her selling price for fear of losing loyal customers. She said she has had to cut down on food rations to cover for the extra gas expenses.
Meanwhile, gas suppliers are also worried as sales may shrink and people may switch to using different fuel alternatives instead of gas.
At an annual meeting of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to a question why gas price has soared, Nguyen Xuan Chien, Deputy Director of the Department of Domestic Market, said that to reduce gas prices the Ministry and Vietnam Gas Association proposes to decrease import tax from five to zero percent.
He affirmed there is no manipulation on gas although PV gas has gained a larger market share as the Ministries of Finance, and Industry and Trade control the price.