Road maintenance fund comes under public fire

Published: 15/02/2011 05:00



The Ministry of Transport’s draft
decree for a road maintenance fund has met opposition from motorists, who say
it’s unfair to demand extra fees for the fund from car and motorbike owners.

draft decree is scheduled to be submitted to the Government by March.

People travelling on the only road
to Mien Dong Bus Station in HCM City. Motorists disagree with the Ministry of
Transport’s draft decree establishing a road maintenance fund. (Photo: VNS)

According to the draft decree, motorbike owners would have to pay between
VND80,000 (US$4) to VND150,000 ($7) per vehicle every year, while cars and lorry
owners would pay VND100,000 to VND207,000 ($5-10.3) a month depending on their
vehicle’s capacity.

The fund
aims to improve traffic infrastructure by creating a new source of funding for
upgrade and maintenance work.

director of the ministry’s Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam Nguyen Van Quyen
said toll booths at roads and bridges would continue operating if the new fund
is given the go-ahead. This has caused concern among many motorists, who say
they are already paying enough fees for road maintenance.

Associate professor Pham Xuan Mai, a lecturer from the HCM City University of
Technology, said motorbikes owners should be excluded from any extra fees
related to the new fund.

“Overloaded lorries and cars result in more wear and tear on roads, while
motorbikes are a lot lighter and have a smaller impact,” he said.

addition, many roads were filled with pot holes and in such a poor state that
motorists didn’t want to pay any new fees until the situation improves, he

of the Sai Gon Travel and Service Transport Co-operative Nguyen Van Dung said
the fees would become a burden for vehicle owners.

“A coach
running from HCM City to Ha Noi must pass nearly 20 toll stations, so any extra
fee would be a burden,” said Dung.

HCM City
Goods Transport Association General Secretary Thai Van Chung said transport fees
for goods in Viet Nam were already among the highest in the world.

“If the
Ministry of Transport starts taking in new road maintenance fees, it will cost
even more to transport goods around the country - which means prices will soar,
said Chung.”

maintenance proposed in the draft for lorries are at about VND17 million
(US$850) a year, said Chung, and this would result in significantly higher costs
for the transport enterprises.

“Competent offices should scrap the plan so transport enterprises do not suffer
from the great burden of a wide range of different fees,” said Chung.

residents have also voiced concerns over the proposal.

Thi Dung, a teacher living in HCM City’s District 9, said she already spent
VND50,000 ($2.5) a month on petrol.

additional VND100,000 ($5) a month for road maintenance fees would be
unreasonable,” said Dung.

ministry should set up more suitable fee levels for owners of different types of
vehicles and according to how many kilometres they drive,” she said.

Luu Anh
Quang, from Ha Noi’s Dong Da District, said he spent more than VND200,000 ($10)
a month on petrol, and on his salary, an extra fee of $5 a month would be far
too costly.

“If the
ministry collects road maintenance fees, my family, with has four people who
each use a motorbike, may face financial hardship, especially with the prices of
goods going up as well,” said Quang.

Nam News

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