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Others    Medicine costs to be stabilised (Mar 11, 2011)

HCM City will add medicine to its list of price-stabilised essential goods, said the deputy chairwoman of the municipal People's Committee.
Speaking on the TV programme Talk and Act, Nguyen Thi Hong on Sunday spoke about Government Resolution 11 that was issued to curb inflation, stabilise the macro-economy and ensure social security.

The TV programme was organised by the municipal People's Council and HCM City Television.

She said the city's Department of Health would draw up a list of domestically-made medicine that treats common diseases.

"These drug prices will be implemented on April 1," she said.

The city People's Committee's price stabilisation programme covers nine other essentials goods, including rice, sugar, cooking oil, red meat, eggs, poultry, fruit and vegetables, processed foods and seafood.

The city will also boost the development of animal husbandry to increase the food supply and expand the retail network system to improve the city's price-stabilisation programme.

For Resolution 11 to be effective, economic expert Phan Chanh Duong said the city should create measures to help small – and medium-sized enterprises access bank loans and support workers.

Besides the higher prices of input materials, companies also faced the risk of employees quitting their jobs, he said.

Truong Trong Nghia, deputy head of the city People's Council's Economic and State Budget Division, said small – and medium-sized companies should be supported so that inflation could be curbed and social security ensured.

Hong said city authorities would lower loan interest rates and work with commercial banks to support small – and medium-sized enterprises to access bank loans.

Le Trong Sang, deputy director of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said to support the poor, the city People's Committee this month would offer subsidies of VND30,000 a month to 36,000 poor households to help pay their electricity bills.

Sang said his department was working with district authorities to encourage boarding-house owners to delay higher rental costs for workers.

At the end of last year, most boarding-house owners increased rents, and this year they plan to continue to do so, creating a burden for low-income workers, he said. — VNS

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