Ho Chi Minh City authorities will likely collect the road maintenance fee at a zero rate from motorbike owners to spare local residents any further burdens, the chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council has said.
>> Ho Chi Minh City to collect road fees from bikers next month Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, the council’s head, made the statement during her talk with Transport Minister Dinh La Thang on the sidelines of a meeting held by the Vietnamese National Assembly on Thursday to discuss the Bill on Charges and Fees. The talk, which was recorded by reporters from the mass media, focused on the road maintenance fee that has been collected under Government Decree 18/2012, dated March 13, 2012, on the establishment, management and use of the Road Maintenance Fund. Based on the decree, the Ministry of Finance issued Circular 197, dated November 15, 2012, to stipulate two fee ranges, including the VND50,000-100,000 ($2.3-4.6) range per year for electric bicycles and motorbikes with engines of 50 - 100 cubic centimeters (cc), and the VND100,000-150,000 range per year for those with engine sizes of over 100 cc.
Based on these ranges, which specify such minimum and maximum rates for each type of bike, People’s Councils in provinces and cities will determine their own rates that fit their social and economic characteristics. While all other localities have set out their own fee rates and collected them since 2013, Ho Chi Minh City has continued to postpone its fee collection to spare residents any further burdens. Recently, the People’s Council decided that authorities will begin to collect the fee from motorbike owners from July, but Tam still told Thang that it is unreasonable to impose such a fee on owners who have already paid many taxes before they can ride their vehicles. Tam asked Minister Thang to reconsider the levying of such a fee on bikers, adding that the city authorities do not want to impose it on bike owners, but they will have to collect the charge only because it has been stipulated by law. In reply, Thang told Tam that under a new regulation, the highest rates of the fee are stipulated while the lowest ones are not. That means local authorities are allowed to collect the fee at any rates under the cap, even applying a zero rate, the minister said, citing Circular 133 that was issued by the Finance Ministry on September 11, 2014 to modify the above-mentioned Circular 197. Under the new circular, the maximum fee of VND100,000 is applied to motorbikes with engine sizes of up to 100 cc, and the highest fee of VND150,000 is levied on those of over 100 cc, Minister Thang said. “Given such a new rule, I think that the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council will certainly decide to collect a motorbike fee at a zero rate,” Tam told Thang.
At another National Assembly meeting on May 29, Tam said local governments nationwide should be authorized to decide whether any fees and charges should be collected and at which rates, as only grassroots authorities can clearly know about the actual conditions of each locality.