Vietnam delays environmental tax hike plan

The National Assembly Standing Committee has delayed a vote on a proposal to increase the environmental taxes on fuel products to the maximum limit, stating that it requires further consideration.

The environmental tax hike plan requires further consideration.
The environmental tax hike plan requires further consideration.

The committee members expressed their concern over the impact of the plan on inflation and the lives of people at a meeting on July 13.

Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Nguyen Van Giau, stated that petrol and diesel are essential fuels widely used in a wide range of economic activities and the tax hikes would increase the prices of consumer goods as a result.

Therefore, he called for careful consideration regarding when to go ahead with the plan.

The Ministry of Finance proposed to increase the environmental tax on petrol and diesel to as much as VND4,000 per litre in May.

National Assembly Chairwoman, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, commented that it is necessary to raise environmental taxes even if inflation edges up a little if the move could add VND15-16 trillion (US$645-688 million) to the budget for addressing environmental issues.

But she noted that the competent authorities should be able to raise taxes without increasing fuel prices and achieve a public consensus over the plan.

She also asked the regulators concerned to step up their supervision over fuel distributors and called for an increased budget for environmental protection following the added income from higher taxes.

On July 13, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee also discussed amendments to the Law on Investment, the Law on Public Investment and the Law on Environmental Protection in order the make them consistent with one another.