HCMC council members present opposite opinions of road maintenance fee

Debate on collection of road maintenance fee on motorbikes heated the first day of the 18th session of the 8th city People’s Council yesterday. Some council members agreed to halt while some said the toll was needed for developing traffic system.

A delegate speaks at the opening session of the city People's Council (Photo: SGGP)

The Central Road Maintenance Fund has recently proposed the Government to halt charging the fee on motorbikes, so HCMC will continue collecting to abide by the law or should wait for the Government’s decision.
Advocating the fee abolishment, Mr. Van Duc Muoi said that the policy did not accord with popularity.

Mr. Ngo Minh Chau said that voters and residents expressed their desire that the Government would abolish the toll, whose collection organization had dissatisfied them because some people paid the fee while many others neither paid nor faced any sanction.
Every people should be treated fairly. Besides, the Central Road Maintenance Fund’s proposal gained popularity, therefore HCMC should consider the matter towards that direction, he said.
Contrariwise, former permanent deputy secretary of HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Van Dua said that social resources must be mobilized to develop traffic system which had failed to meet demand.
Voter contacts recorded two currents of opinions, why some provinces collect road maintenance fee but some others did not and not all residents were of the opinion against the toll, he said.
Many provinces with more difficulties than HCMC have implemented the policy, so he proposed to organize the collection effectively.

The People’s Council should supervise the People’s Committee to ensure that the policy had been implemented rightly, quickly and transparently, he added.
Mr. Tran Trong Nghia said that HCMC should do as Da Nang to stop charging the fee. What benefiting residents, it should be a priority.

The People’s Council should host a referendum to see how many people favor the collection halt and how many want to wait for the Government’s decision, he proposed.
Chairwoman of HCMC People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam said that the council would decide not to get the fee if they had competence.
However the fee collection has been prescribed in law, meaning HCMC cannot help carrying out it. The city has been among the latest ones in the country to implement this regulation and reminded of the lateness.

At present, the Central Road Maintenance Fund has suggested the Government to halt the fee collection but it has not responded. As a result, HCMC would still charge the toll as per regulation while waiting for the Government’s final decision, she said.
Road maintenance fee’s collection should be organized efficiently and transparently, she added. She also expressed her belief in citizens’ awareness of the law execution.

Chairwoman of District 9 People’s Committee said that it was the first district in HCMC that collected the fee for the last one month with total fund of VND1.2 billion (US$55,000) from 13,000 motorbikes, accounting for 17 percent total number in the district.

However, they had then stopped that to wait for the city’s instructions, she said.

By Van Anh – Translated by Hai Mien

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