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Vietnam considering fuel tax cuts amid inflation pressure - Finance Minister

FILE PHOTO: An employee pumps petrol into a car at a petrol station in Hanoi, Vietnam December 20, 2106. REUTERS/Kham

FILE PHOTO: An employee pumps petrol into a car at a petrol station in Hanoi, Vietnam December 20, 2106. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI : Vietnam is considering cutting taxes on fuel to help ease prices at all-time highs, but inflation remains under control and helped by domestic food production, its finance minister said on Wednesday.

Taxes of all kinds account for around 30per cent of retail prices, including an 8per cent import tax and 10per cent value added tax.

"Cutting fuel tax would help reduce prices and therefore cut production costs for businesses and boost growth," Ho Duc Phoc told parliament on Wednesday, without saying which taxes would be cut, or by how much.

Vietnam, a regional manufacturing powerhouse, is facing mounting inflation pressure, he said, due to heavy reliance on imported fuels, equipment, fertilisers and materials.

However, Phoc said inflation was still under control, with consumer prices in the first five months of this year having risen by only 2.25per cent from a year earlier.

The country targets inflation below 4per cent for this year.

He said domestic food production has helped offset the inflation pressure.

Vietnam is the world's third largest rice exporter, after India and Thailand.

In April, Vietnam halved environment tax on gasoline, and on diesel fuel and lubricants to 2,000 dong (US$0.0863) per litre and 1,000 dong per litre respectively.

Retail gasoline prices in Vietnam range from 30,230 dong (US$1.30) to 32,810 dong (US$1.41) per litre.

(US$1 = 23,185 dong)

(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Martin Petty)

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