|Vehicles pass the Dong Nai toll station. The Ministry of Transport has rebutted media reports that toll stations are incorrectly spaced leading to an overlap in fees. — VNA/VNS Photo Sy Tuyen
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has rebutted media reports that toll stations are incorrectly spaced and that this leads to an overlap in fees for vehicles.
This was stated in a report submitted to the Prime Minister on Wednesday (Document 6345/BGTVT-TC) following a request made a day earlier by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.
Hai asked the MOT and Ministry of Finance (MOF) to explain stories recently carried in some media outlets concerning the problem.
The report confirmed that the regulations to collect road fees were appropriate and there was no such thing as overlapping of fees.
MOT said road fees were collected in two ways -the first was a levy charged on every vehicle when registered. This was used for maintaining roads built with the State funds (non-BOT projects).
The other road tolls were collected by toll stations on roads built in the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. Fees collected went to the road contractor for investment returns and also for maintenance.
MOT also said that BOT was a popular mode of investment throughout the world.
It added that in Viet Nam's case, this helped to fill the current restraint in public investment, prevent public debt from rising, and "mobilise idle money" among the people.
The MOT report added that build-operate-transfer reduced wastefulness and corruption often found in road building covered by State funding.
According to the MOT, 96 toll stations have been set up across the nation. Of them, 83 sit on roads built under BOT contracts signed by MOT with builders and 13 under BOT contracts between provincial authorities and contractors.
However, up to now, just 45 toll gates have started to collect tolls, while 51 will open over the next three years as the roads are completed..
The report says that currently, the MOF has to set aside funding from the State budget to offset the collection of vehicle register fees, which is now not enough to pay for the maintenance of (State-built) roads. — VNS