[governance-vn] Inflation at decade-high of 21.4% in Vietnam -
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Tue Apr 29 08:55:48 EST 2008
Subject: Inflation at decade-high of 21.4% in Vietnam - true!!!???
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 22:52:34 +0700
From: nguyen mai <henmoc at gmail.com>
The Straits Times (Singapore)
April 28, 2008 Monday
*Inflation at decade-high of 21.4% in Vietnam;
Sixth consecutive month of double-digit price rises rattles govt *
Roger Mitton, Vietnam Correspondent
HO CHI MINH CITY - VIETNAM'S inflation rate this month is the highest in
more than a decade, despite a raft of government steps to stem rising
The consumer price index rose 21.4 per cent from a year earlier in
April, driven by higher prices for food, housing and oil, according to
government figures released last Friday.
The index rose 19.4 per cent in March.
It was the sixth consecutive month of double-digit inflation.
In recent months, the ruling communist regime has taken several drastic
measures, including curbing the money supply, raising interest rates and
severely restricting bank loans, but they have failed to stem
skyrocketing consumer prices.
Low-income workers and farmers have been especially hard hit.
Already, there has been a record number of wildcat strikes by factory
workers across the country demanding higher wages to survive.
The latest government figures, which are widely believed to be
understated, reveal that food prices rose 34 per cent this month
compared with the same period last year.
Political leaders in Vietnam, a one-party state ruled by the Communist
Party, have been rattled by the extent of the economic turmoil and their
increasingly panicky responses have often reversed each other.
Dr Vu Thanh Tu Anh, a Ho Chi Minh City-based economist, said: 'The
government agencies in charge of running macroeconomic policies clearly
lack coordination and consistency.'
Last Thursday, the Ministry of Finance, which has been at loggerheads
with the central bank over how to tackle the financial turmoil, held a
closed-door crisis meeting to consider new moves to reverse the economic
The Politburo, the highest body of the Vietnam Communist Party, has even
publicly given economic advice to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's
government. It is an unprecedented move for the highly secretive
Politburo and reflects growing concern of divisions within the
leadership over how to deal with the economic crisis.
According to party sources, there are splits in the Politburo between
those who back Prime Minister Dung's internationalist approach, and
those who urge a more nationalistic line, such as party boss Nong Duc
Manh and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung.
The disagreements are now set to be ironed out at a rare mid-term
meeting of the party's Central Executive Committee, starting on June 6.
At the crisis meeting, party leaders will seek measures to cushion the
effects of the price hikes on low-income earners who are suffering most
and who form the bedrock of the party.
The leaders will need to move decisively since even party sources say
the crisis has revealed how their complacency and naivete have grown
during the past decade's boom times .
Party veteran Vu Mao, a former chairman of the national assembly's
external relations committee, said: 'When Vietnamese are praised, they
often become self-satisfied and even arrogant. Our leaders should look
inward to see if they deserve that assessment.'
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