|Individuals and enterprises blocked the Quan Hau Toll Collection Station on National Highway 1A yesterday to protest the station's decision to raise the toll. — Photo vnexpress.net
HA NOI (VNS) — Many individuals and enterprises yesterday blocked the Quan Hau Toll Collection Station on National Highway 1A to protest the station's decision to raise toll fees from January 1.
The new toll has been raised from VND20,000 (US$0.8) to VND35,000 ($1.5).
People used cars to block the road, saying the station had ignored instructions from the Ministry of Transport.
The ministry had previously given permission for road operators to increase tolls from June 1 this year, not January, since last year's inflation rate was far lower than expected.
In a dispatch sent to the Ministry of Finance and the operators in late December, the transport ministry pointed out that in the tender negotiations for road projects, the ministry and investors had agreed to a road map based on the consumer price index to increase the toll.
A finance ministry circular allows build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects to increase tolls every three years from January 1 this year.
But the Government's effective price control measures and the plummeting world oil prices kept the CPI lower than expected by the transport ministry and investors.
Figures from the General Statistics Office reveal that inflation fell to the lowest rate in 15 years — of only 0.63% against 5 per cent approved by the National Assembly.
The transport ministry also called on the finance ministry to revise the circular to make it match current market conditions.
As of June 2015 there were 45 toll booths nation-wide with 51 others set up to collect tolls from 2018 as more projects finish.
It is mandatory for toll stations on highways to be at least 70km apart.
The fee to cross Ben Thuy Bridge in Nghe An Province was also raised on January 1. — VNS