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May 17, 2024 / 15:58

PM orders to suspend gold stores failing to comply with e-invoicing rules

Electronic invoicing of gold transactions is critical due to the often small-scale, undocumented, and opaque nature of these deals.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has instructed local authorities to revoke the licenses of gold traders who fail to comply with the electronic invoicing regulations by June 15.

 Locals buying gold at a jewelry store in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Hung/The Hanoi Times

Chinh made the remarks at a Government meeting on monetary and fiscal policies held on May 16.

At the meeting, he highlighted the need for measures to reduce the gap between domestic and international gold prices. Solutions include increased inspections, strict penalties for violations, and a review of Decree 24/2012 on gold trading management by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).

“Electronic invoicing of gold transactions is critical because of the often small-scale, undocumented, and non-transparent nature of these deals,” Chinh said.

According to the Tax Administration Law, businesses and households are obliged to use electronic invoices since July 1, 2022. The General Department of Taxation reports that all businesses in the gold and silver trading sector are now using e-invoices.

However, many local gold retailers continue to sell jewelry without issuing invoices, accepting cash payments instead. Some gold traders pay presumptive taxes on the basis of estimated income, which leads to significant tax revenue losses.

Domestic gold prices have been highly volatile recently due to global influences and limited supply, peaking at over VND92 million (US$3,616) per tael on May 10—a record high. The price difference between domestic and international gold has ranged from VND16-17 million ($628-668), occasionally reaching up to VND20 million ($785) per tael.

To stabilize the market, the SBV plans to increase supply through auctions and amend Decree 24 on gold management. Last month, seven auction sessions released more than 27,000 taels of SJC gold to the market, although three sessions were canceled.

The meeting also discussed the impact on Vietnam of fiscal and monetary policy adjustments in other countries. The Prime Minister instructed ministries to maximize revenues, cut budget expenditures, and consider issuing government bonds to invest in infrastructure, social housing, and green transition.

He urged ministries to immediately mobilize approximately VND100 trillion ($3.93 billion) for medium-term projects in the 2021-2025 period. For the long term, Chinh called for continued research and preparation of strategic infrastructure investment projects for submission to the relevant authorities.

He noted that these initiatives are feasible due to the control of public debt, government debt, and foreign debt within allowable limits, a budget deficit below the threshold, and a significant increase in budget revenues.

Additionally, the monetary policy administration was tasked with maintaining exchange rate stability to avoid macroeconomic disruptions and controlling inflation.

The banking sector is targeting a 14-15% credit growth rate this year. However, credit growth has been low, at 0.26% by the end of Q1. To achieve a 5-6% credit growth rate in Q2, the Prime Minister urged the banking sector to reduce administrative costs and procedures in order to lower lending interest rates by 1-2%.