The Ministry of Transport has instructed relevant agencies to closely monitor fees charged by carriers to ensure the decrease in fuel prices is factored in.
In a dispatch dated December 22 the ministry instructed provincial transport departments to get carriers to re-register the rates with their constituent components.
They have been told to coordinate with provincial finance departments to ensure the rates are registered and posted, and penalise violators, even revoking their licences if required.
The dispatch came after the finance ministry urged the transport ministry to ensure transporters reduced fees amid the low fuel prices. The former had received many complaints about the unreasonably high rates.
Retailers at Ho Thi Ky Flower Market in Ho Chi Minh City's District 10, for instance, had complained that the cost of transporting flowers from Da Lat to HCM City remained unchanged though fuel prices had been cut several times.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, Head of the Ministry of Finance's Price Management Department, said though fuel prices have dropped drastically since mid-September, transportation rates remained almost unchanged.
Petrol prices have fallen by 20.8% since July of this year, cutting the operation costs of petrol-powered vehicles by 5.2-7.3%, according to the finance ministry. Diesel prices are down 25.5%, reducing costs by 8.9-11.5%.
Fuel accounts for 30-40% of transporters' costs, and so it is unacceptable if rates are not reduced after the sharp fall in fuel prices, Tuan said.
"If carriers decline to cut fees, transport management agencies will not only impose fines but also revoke their business licenses."
Phan The Rue, a former Deputy Industry and Trade Minister, said many transporters, especially taxi companies, have either failed to cut or delayed cutting rates or made cuts not in proportion to the fall in fuel prices.
Figures from the finance ministry also reveal that as of 18 December of this year, fuel prices have been adjusted for 23 times.
Prices of A92 petrol have been lowered for 12 times with total price reduction of VND7,311 per litre and increased for six times with total price addition of VND5,826 per litre.
Prices of A92 petrol have also been subsidised for five times by the Price Stabilisation Fund that aims to prevent fuel price hikes.