HA NOI — The Ministry of Transport has opted to reduce the HCM City-Trung Luong Expressway toll for certain vehicles and suspend plans to collect fees on a National Highway 1A section following feedback from transport businesses.
The ministry called on the Finance Ministry to cut the fee on vehicles over 18 tonnes and 40 feet container trucks by 25-30 per cent from the current rate of VND8,000 (US$0.4) per kilometre.
Although the ministry did not agree with the earlier proposal that the fee on such vehicles be reduced by 50 per cent, this reduction would please many transporters for it helped ease their financial difficulties, said Thai Van Chung, general secretary of the HCM City Goods Transport Association.
Earlier, the association proposed a reduction of 50 per cent, saying that a large quantity of cargo transporters that carry goods from HCM City to Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces and vice versa cannot afford the fee.
Under the original fee plan, if a truck travels 40 km on the expressway to deliver goods, it would have to pay a total VND640,000 ($30) for the round trip.
Such an expense is too high, according to calculations by most cargo transporters, since a delivery trip within a radius of 100 km can only earn the transporter VND300,000-400,000 ($14-19).
The transport ministry also said it has suspended the plan to collect fees on a stretch of National Highway 1A that runs parallel to the HCM City-Trung Luong expressway until further notice.
The road maintenance fee will be collected from June 1 to feed the road maintenance fund that has been set up under Government decree, and when applied, all toll gates on national highways whose revenues belong to State budget will be removed to avoid overlapping fees, according to Deputy Minister Nguyen Hong Truong.
Meanwhile, Chung said his association will continue asking for a fee reduction for other types of vehicles on the expressway and maintain its opinion that no fee should be collected on the national highway section.
Tran Hau Ninh, director of the HCM City – Trung Luong Expressway Management Centre, said 17,000-18,000 vehicles used the expressway per day, paying total fees of VND1 billion ($47,620). — VNS