The Vietnamese government has banned the import of passenger vehicles, told state employees to ride bicycles to work and ordered fuel to be set aside for essential industries to cope with a serious fuel shortage.

The official communist newspaper, Nhan Dan, gave more details Monday of a decision by the governing Council of Ministers announced Saturday.The council released new regulations on Oct. 19 to cut domestic oil product consumption by 10 to 20 percent. It said there was a serious domestic shortage caused by the Persian Gulf crisis and insufficient hard currency to pay for oil.

"On the one hand, oil products must be provided to meet the truly necessary demands of the economy, daily life and national defense and security," Nhan Dan said.

"On the other hand, the use of oil products must be economized to the greatest extent both in production and everyday activities.

"People should be deeply aware about economizing oil products and should consider it an important state directive, especially in these urgent circumstances," it said.

The council banned the import of all passenger vehicles and motorcycles until the end of 1991 in what it described as a temporary measure.

It said the cost of electricity, gasoline and other fuel would be increased to correspond with higher world oil prices.

The council said the practice of many state offices paying home electric and water bills for employees would be eliminated.