Parking lot owners in Ha Noi will have their business licences revoked if they are found to be overcharging customers, according to the municipal People's Committee.
The move follows recent inspections which indicated many parking lot owners repeatedly broke the rules on fee charging.
The committee has also asked 29 finance divisions in districts to check tickets in parking lots to see whether they follow regulations.
The Department of Transport will be responsible for checking the work of handing out licences for parking lots and withdrawing the licences if the owners violate regulations.
The municipal People's Committee also asked the Department of Health to closely motor parking lots in hospitals, particularly the most notorious ones including Ha Dong, Tuberculosis, Thanh Nhan, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Saint Paul and Duc Giang.
Deputy Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Hoang Manh Hien has also reprimanded directors of the six hospitals for overcharging more than once. They collected VND3,000-5,000 ($0.15-0.25) for each parked motorbike, double the regulated level.
Duong Dinh Chien, head of the Ha Noi Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynaecology's personnel department, said the hospital printed tickets for parking with the prices of VND2,000 but attendants often increased the prices on their own initiative.
He also said the hospital was so large, with so many parking lots, that the hospital management board could not check the attendants' procedures.
From next month, the personnel department would assign inspectors to keep a close watch on parking lots in the hospital to make sure parking fees would be collected properly, said Chien.
The Ha Noi Department of Finance's recent inspections found that more than 50 per cent of 64 motor parking lots in the city increased their prices above the regulated levels.
The department inspectors fined 47 parking lots a total of VND260 million (US$13,000).
Explaining reasons, deputy director of the Finance Department Phung Thi Hong Ha said fine levels, which were VND750,000 ($37) for the first violation and VND1 million ($50) for repeated violations, were not strict enough.
By increasing fees, violators could make the money back in a few days, she said.
The latest sanction introduced by local authorities did not seem to worry owners.
Nguyen Dong Tam, owner of a private parking lot on Tran Quy Cap Street, said it was not difficult for him to re-apply for another business licence.
"Many people leave their vehicles in my parking lot each day and the money I earn from them in about three days is enough for me to re-apply for another permit," Tam said yesterday. — VNS