Provinces, cities replicate price subsidized program

Ho Chi Minh City has been very successful in implementing the price subsidized program in recent years, and other provinces and cities across the country have since replicated it, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai on Saturday.

A customer (L) selects food items priced under the subsidized program at a supermarket in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

Speaking with provinces and cities on the price subsidized program via an online conference, Mr. Hai said that it is being carried out in 36 provinces and cities and another seven provinces are about to join in.

Locations selling price subsidized goods have increased to 6,400, of which 4,000 are in HCMC and 688 in Hanoi.

Businesses have also opened more price subsidized goods shops in suburban districts, industrial and export processing zones and markets so that low income residents can buy cheaper and quality goods.

Ho Chi Minh City now has 880 shops in markets alone, an increase of 242 shops compared to 2010. About 200 grocery stores in residential areas and nine shops in industrial zones are also selling essential subsidized commodities.

The city only implemented the price subsidized program during the Tet Festival in 2002 on select items. By 2010, it had become a year-round program, increasing to nine food items.

HCMC then continued to implement the program by adding school items, milk and medicines in the next two following years.

At first, the City saw only two businesses join in the program, but today they have increased to 48. Of which 29 businesses don’t even receive any financial assistance from the Government for stockpiling of goods and maintaining an inventory.

Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, said that this well implemented program prevents several commodities from increasing their prices in an ad hoc manner.

At the online conference, Diep Kinh Tan, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said that residents in rural areas have to pay a higher price for commodities that are not available in their area, because of added transport costs, while traders pay too low a price for locally produced goods.

The price difference between that paid to farmers and retail stores is almost 100 percent. Related ministries and departments should tackle this enormous price difference urgently, he said.

Vu Huy Hoang, minister of Industry and Trade, said that the price subsidized program plays an important role in sustainable development and social welfare and his ministry will work with localities to better the program’s implementation.

By Thuy Hai – Translated by Hai Mien

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