The Ministry of Transport has proposed that the government stop collecting a controversial road maintenance fee on motorbikes, saying the collection has not been policed well.
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang said at a recent meeting that the fee on automobiles, however, will stay intact and the policy "will be implemented more effectively.”
Under current regulations, car owners pay between VND180,000-1.44 million ($8.60-67) a month at centers tasked with checking vehicles’ quality, while motorbike owners pay between VND80,000-180,000 ($3.80-8.60) per year to sub-district level administrations.
When the transport ministry announced its plan to collect the fee in 2012, it provoked widespread criticism with naysayers pointing out that road users in Vietnam were already burdened by too many fees.
At the meeting, Le Hoang Minh, spokesperson of the National Road Maintenance Fee Fund, said a survey of 32 city and provincial governments found that only two of them wanted to stop collecting the fee on motorbikes.
However, central agencies admitted that it was difficult to ask motorbike owners to pay. According to Minister Thang, the major problem is that there is no penalty against violators.
In Quang Ngai Province, for instance, only 2.8 percent of local motorbikes paid the fee.
Hanoi, Da Nang and HCMC have recently proposed the fee be scrapped, after polling their residents.
So far, the national fund has collected about VND2.8 billion ($128,400), mostly from automobiles.
Over 43 million motorbikes have been registered in Vietnam, or 85 percent of all vehicles nationwide. That is far exceeding the 36-million target set for 2020.