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Govt To Slash Fuel Prices

Source: Vientiane Times

The government has decided to lower the prices of all types of fuel in order to address financial difficulties faced by the people, who have been complaining about the rising household expenses.

The cost of many types of consumer goods have continued to rise in the domestic market, with even instant noodles being sold at higher prices in recent months. For example, a pack of imported noodles now sells for 70,000 kip to 80,000 kip.

To reduce the pressure of rising food prices, the government will cut the cost of fuel by 650 kip per litre for premium fuel, 540 kip per litre for regular fuel and 610 kip per litre for diesel.

This means motorists in Vientiane will pay 19,520 kip per litre for premium fuel,17,110 kip per litre for regular fuel and 15,630 kip per litre for diesel.

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Premium grade fuel was earlier sold for 20,170 kip per litre, regular fuel at 17,650 kip per litre and diesel at 16,240 kip per litre.

The new fuel prices will be implemented across the country from 6 am on Thursday.

Though the government has cut fuel prices, motorists in several northern provinces such as Phongsaly and Luang Namtha will pay more than 20,000 kip per litre for premium grade fuel. These prices are higher than those of other provinces.

Economists said any increase of domestic retail fuel prices will not only impact buyers, but importers are under pressure because of the weakening value of the local currency against the US dollar.

As of March 23, the buying rate at the Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL) was 11,583.00 kip per US dollar, while the selling rate was 11,606.00 kip per US dollar.

Some money exchange outlets may be selling the dollar at higher rates, though it is cheaper to buy the dollar and other leading foreign currencies.

Meanwhile, the country’s leading shop, Khamphouvong Jewellery Shop in Vientiane, sold a baht-weight (15 grams) of gold at 13.5 million kip and one sleung (3.75 grams) at 3.4 million kip. In the southern province of Champassak, a baht-weight of gold was selling at 13.4 million kip.

In 2020, gold jewellery prices in Laos were 8.8 million kip per baht-weight and 2.2 million kip a sleung, up from 8.2 million kip per baht-weight and around 2 million kip a sleung in late June of the same year.

In the context of the rising prices of many types of goods, the government is still holding consultations with the private sector to find solutions to minimise uncertainty regarding consumer products and commodities.

Recently, the government decided to cut Value Added Tax from 10 percent to 7 percent, and it also cut all fuel reserves, meaning that the current oil reserve price is 0 kip/litre.