Ministry mulls using toll to expand national highway
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The Ministry of Transport has sought permission from the Prime Minister to expand the part of the National Highway No 1 (NH1) connecting Thanh Hoa and Can Tho, with capital for the project funded from the fees collected to limit personal vehicle use it has already proposed.
Vehicles are passing a narrow part of the National Highway No 1 passing the central province of Nghe An Photo: Tuoi Tre
The fee collection will be added to funds from other investors to expand the 1,050km roadway, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said in his petition submitted to the PM.
According to the proposal to levy yearly traffic fees on personal cars and motorbikes to reduce their use, which was submitted to the government last December, cars with fewer than nine seats will pay a traffic fee of VND20 million – 50 million ($950) a year, depending on their cylinder capacity.
Meanwhile, motorbike users will pay a fee of $24-48.
Total investment needed for the project is around VND91 trillion (US$4.36 billion), and the state budget -- sourced from the personal vehicle fee collection -- can cover VND45-60 trillion, said Thang.
“The project will be implemented under the BOT (build-operate-transfer) scheme, and there will be 18 subprojects, while toll booths will be built to recoup investment,” he added.
“There will be one toll booth every 70km in each subproject, with a toll fee of VND750 per PCU (passenger car unit) per kilometer, which is only 75 percent of the fee levied on the Ho Chi Minh City – Trung Luong expressway .”
Fee – the main factor
“With the state budget expected to contribute VND45-60 trillion to the project, we suggest using the collection of fees to limit personal vehicle usage for this contribution.
“The capital source from this fee collection is the main factor for the implementation of the project,” the transport ministry said.
The ministry said it will petition the PM to seek approval from the National Assembly for the proposal to collect the fee, which will create budget input for use in BOT projects to expand NH1.
It also said that since the project will be implemented at a time of high risk traffic infrastructure investment, it needs a guarantee from the government in order to mobilize capital from foreign investors.
“The Ministry of Transport petitioned that the PM allow capable state-run constructors to join in the NH1 expansion project, while also backing the project’s revenue in case real revenues do not meet the planned figures,” it said.