Vietnam capital to collect motorbike road fee from August

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 A typical day on a Hanoi street

Hanoi has set the proposed road-use fee for motorbikes at the lowest level in the range suggested by the government, and will start levying it from August 1.

At a meeting of the People's Council, the municipal legislature, on Tuesday, lawmakers decided on a VND50,000 per year fee for 100cc motorbikes and VND100,000 for those with larger engines.

The People's Committee, the city government, had earlier decided to set the fee at VND100,000 and VND150,000 -- the top end of the scale.

The amount should be high because the city has many roads to be maintained, Nguyen Huy Tuong, deputy chairman of the committee, said.

But lawmakers like Nguyen Ngoc Thach said a high fee is "not appropriate" because many people are still confused about the fee and do not totally agree about the need for it.

In Ho Chi Minh City, People's Committee chairman Le Hoang Quan has ordered more studies into collecting the fee.

A proposal on the fee was slated to be submitted to the city People's Council in the last quarter, but has been delayed for further study.

From January 1 automobile owners have been paying road-use fees.

For cars it is set at VND1.56-12.48 million depending on engine capacity.

More than VND2.09 trillion ($97.78 million) has been collected as of May 27, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

In most places around the country local governments are drafting plans for the motorbike fee to submit to legislatures.

Since being announced last year the fee proposal has come in for widespread criticism from the public and transport companies who said it is "unfair" given that they already pay many fees and tolls on major roads.

There are some 35 million motorbikes and 1.5 million cars in Vietnam, from whom the ministry hope to collect VND6 trillion ($286.66 million) this year.

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