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Concern swirls around Vietnam’s intention to impose environmental charge on vehicle emissions

Concern swirls around Vietnam’s intention to impose environmental charge on vehicle emissions

Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 15:54 GMT+7
Concern swirls around Vietnam’s intention to impose environmental charge on vehicle emissions
Vehicles clog a street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam is mulling over levying a blanket charge on exhaust pipe emissions as a way to alleviate air pollution across the country – a proposal that has been greeted with widespread worries.

The Ministry of Finance has asked relevant authorities to come up with ideas to introduce vehicle gas charges for environmental protection purposes.

The department wanted the suggestions to be clear in the charging scheme, who must pay the money and how to collect it.

The ministry’s move came after the Hanoi administration submitted to the Vietnamese government a proposal that vehicles entering the inner city have to pay some money and incur a surcharge that depends on the amount of emissions measured when a vehicle is registered.

Local authorities say this is to ameliorate air pollution and traffic congestion in a 3,330-square-kilometer city where a crisis is looming large as the volume of traffic is already at ‘an alarming level.’

Over 843,000 automobiles and more than six million motorbikes will have run on urban roads there by 2020, they predicted.

A similar proposal on vehicle pollutant charges was also recently made by Ho Chi Minh City, which is under the strain of traffic overcrowding.

The finance ministry’s desire to impose vehicle emission charges on grounds of environmental protection has sparked concerns in a country where environmental charges on wastewater and mining have been put in place.

Ngo Tri Long, a former head of the agency’s price market institute, says the emission charges are already included in taxes on petrol and the ministry should not create overlapping charges.

Introducing too many charges at the same time will stretch the Vietnamese people’s money to the limit while most of them now live on low incomes, Long underlined.

The new type of charge is likely to place a greater financial burden on domestic enterprises whose competitiveness is being weakened, according to Vo Quoc Binh, director of Binh Minh Investment Group.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News


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