Ministries asked to defer collection of road maintenance fees

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The government has asked the Transport Ministry and Ministry of Industry and Trade to consider delaying the collection of road maintenance fees, according to a report in the online newspaper VnExpress.

In a recent meeting with the two ministries, PM Nguyen Tan Dung proposed that the ministries defer the collection until January 1, 2013, instead of June 1 as planned.

In an earlier proposal submitted to the PM last October, the Transport Ministry suggested collecting the fees by either asking vehicle owners to pay them monthly or annually, or asking car users to pay more when buying gasoline and diesel.

Under the plan, the ministry asked car owners to pay between VND180,000 and 1.44 million (US$8.6-67) a month, while motorbike owners will pay between VND80,000 and VND180,000 ($3.8-8.6) per year.

If applied, the plan will help collect some VND6 trillion ($289 billion) per year, the ministry said.

Last week, the government issued a decree saying Vietnam will start collecting road maintenance fees from local vehicles on June 1.

Under the decree, the lowest rate of the Road Maintenance Fund, VND180,000 per month, will be levied on under-12-seat cars and under-2-ton trucks, while the highest rate, VND1.44 million per month, will be applied to over-27-ton trucks.

For motorbikes, the fees are VND80,000-180,000 per year, depending on cylinder volumes.

The decree has met with a lot of opposition from motorists and transport enterprises, who claim the collection of road maintenance fees would place a burden on their businesses at a time that they are facing a lot of financial difficulties.

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