HA NOI — Users of motorised vehicles will have to pay a road maintenance fee from June 1 this year under Governmental Decree No 18.
Under the decree, the lowest rate of the Road Maintenance Fund, VND180,000 (US$8.5) per month, will be levied on under-12-seat cars and under-2-tonne trucks, while the highest rate, VND1.44 million ($69) per month, will be applied to over-27-tonne trucks.
As for motorbikes, the fee will be VND80,000-180,000 ($4-9) per year, depending on cylinder volumes.
The Road Maintenance Fund will be managed at both central and local levels, with 65 per cent of automobile fees paid to the central coffer while the remainder will go to the local budget. As for the motorcycle fee collection, each locality will manage the fund on its own.
The central fund will be spent on national highway maintenance while local funds will be used for upgrading roads in the locality.
It is calculated that the fee collections will total VND6 trillion ($285.7 million) per year, according to the Ministry of Transport.
However, the decree has met a lot of opposition from motorists and transport enterprises, who said that it was unfair to collect the same level of fees for different frequencies of use and they need a roadmap to implement the policy.
Chairman of the Ha Noi Transport Association Bui Danh Lien said that the Ministry of Transport's plan was too pressing and proposed to put off the road maintenance fee till January next year.
He believed that if the fee is implemented as scheduled, it would cause many additional problems for businesses, which still had a great deal of preparation work to do, such as training for fee handing processes in registration offices and localities.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Huu Tri, deputy director of the ministry's Viet Nam Register Department said that all register stations and centres were ready for fee collection from automobiles.
The 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," he said.
The country now has 1.5 million automobiles and more than 28 million motorbikes, according to the Ha Noi Transport Association. — VNS