The Ministry of Finance is collecting feedback on relevant ministries and agencies to reduce the export duty on coal, currently standing at 20 percent.
The ministry suggested reducing the tax rate to zero, saying it is because the Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group, or Vinacomin, is suffering an unsold inventory of 7.5 million tonnes of coal, while export prices have fallen sharply.
The 20 percent duty was slapped on coal export in November 2011, while export turnover in the first four month of this year has dropped by 15 percent year-on-year to only 3.9 million tonnes, the ministry said.
Though admitting that the 20 percent rate is in accordance with the government’s policy to restrict raw natural resource exports, the ministry said the duty should be cut as Vinacomin, amid the troubled economy, is also in financial difficulties.
“The duty can be reduced to 10 – 15 percent as a temporary assistance to Vinacomin,” the ministry said.
“In 2013, when Vinacomin’s difficulty is eased, the ministry will consider restoring the tariff to 20 percent.”
Vinacomin has recently come under public criticism as it has exported many types of coal that the country may need to import by 2015 for use in power generation.
In 2010, Vinacomin exported more than 18 million tonnes of coal, pocketing $1.4 billion.
Meanwhile, 12 million tonnes out of the 17 million tonnes the coal giant exported last year is needed for fuelling local thermal-power plants.
Vinacomin has been complaining repeatedly of financial troubles, and said exporting coal is intended to fund its operation and investment.