Ho Chi Minh City is planning to impose an annual fee on cars and motorbikes to curb the use of personal vehicles, but experts warn that the plan will not be easy to follow through on.
According to the plan, recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the city would collect an annual fee of VND500,000 on motorbikes and VND5 million on personal cars with less than seven seats.
Khuat Viet Hung, director of the Consulting Center for Transport Development, said other countries also have such fees in place to restrict personal vehicles.
But if the city imposes the fee on vehicle owners instead of vehicle users, it will not be fair for those who own many cars and bikes but don't drive much, he said.
Different vehicles should be treated differently too, depending on their capacity and how much space they take up, he said.
Before imposing the fee, the city administration has to set a target of how many vehicles needed to be reduced to ease traffic gridlocks. It should also conduct a study to determine how much local residents can afford to pay, Hung said.
"If the fee is too high, many people may try to avoid it by having their vehicles registered in other cities and provinces. It will be even harder to monitor the vehicles used in the city."
Do Van Dung, deputy chairman of HCMC University of Technical Education, said the city government needs to forecast all possible difficulties in implementing the fee.
Most motorbikes in the city have changed hands several times but they are still registered under previous owners' names, so it will be difficult for the city to collect the fee, he said.
Le Hieu Dang, former deputy chairman of HCMC Fatherland Front Committee, said in order to convince residents, the government has to announce the purpose of the plan and how the money will be used to improve the traffic situation in the city.