Vietnam ministry wants to raise personal vehicle fees by 5 pct every year

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The transport ministry has proposed an annual increase of five percent in personal vehicles' circulation fees, the VnExpress newswire reported Wednesday.   

The proposal comes even as the fees themselves, which await approval, are the subject of ongoing debate.

In his latest report to the Prime Minister, Transport Minister Dinh La Thang also proposed that the name of the fees be changed from from "personal vehicle circulation fees" into "personal vehicle restricting fees."

The fees will not apply to for state-owned and diplomatic vehicles, the newswire quoted the minister as saying.

The "personal vehicle restricting fees" for cars will be collected by the Vietnam Register, a state-owned body in charge of checking transportation quality and safety. The fees for motorbikes will be collected by local governments, according to Thang's proposal.

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Under the ministry's proposal submitted to the government last November, motorbikes would have to pay between VND500,000-VND1 million (US$23.70-$47.50) per year. Cars would have to pay between VND20-VND50 million (US$951-$2,300) annually.

The ministry also proposed that cars, with the exception of public transports and buses, be required to pay fees of between VND30,000-VND50,000 (US$1.40-$2.40) when entering or leaving local city centers during rush hour.

However, since the proposal was announced, many experts have expressed doubts that it would help reduce the number of personal vehicles.

They said motorbikes have for long been the most effective transportation means for Vietnamese people, while only very well-off people could afford cars. It would, therefore, be difficult to get both target groups to leave their vehicles at home and switch to public transportation.

Early this week, the Prime Minister approved the transport ministry's proposal for collecting road maintenance fees from vehicles from this June 1 onwards.

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