The recent fuel shortages happened because retail prices did not follow the principles of a market economy, and the government cannot mandate prices, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said.
“Businesses only operate if they gain profits. It is very difficult for the government to use administrative measures with them in a market economy.”
Calling on businesses to sacrifice their own interests for the nation could only be done during wartime, and authorities need to be flexible and keep up with the market, he pointed out.
“When costs are correctly reflected by retail prices, retailers started to sell again because they see profits.”
The government has instructed the Ministry of Industry and Trade to amend regulations to ensure demand and supply principles are followed.
Many localities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, reported fuel shortages for weeks in October and early November as gas stations said they were selling at a loss since retail prices were too low.
The situation has been improving in the last three weeks with long queues no longer seen at filling stations.
State-owned fuel distributor Petrolimex said it is set to increase supply by 40% to 2,000 cubic meters a day.
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