If reducing fee at Cai Lay BOT then charging period will extend: “an inevitable exchange”
“If charging fee for 12 years, the amount will be less than colleting fee in 6 years. Should the fee be reduced, we must accept the increase of collecting period to ensure financial plans for investors and credit institutions. This is inevitable to exchange between the fee and the charging period.”
Above is opinion of Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong at a press conference dated August 17 on the collection of road services at Cai Lay BOT tool booth and construction investment project of highway No. 1 on the route out of Cai Lay town, Tien Giang.
Response to recent public opinion about Cai Lay BOT toll booth, the Ministry of Transport and the investor of Tien Giang province have decided to exempt, reduce service fees for a lot of road users.
However, many people still suggest that the Ministry of Transport must relocate the toll station “in the right place” on the route out of Cai Lay town. At the same time, the road maintenance fund must be used for upgrading and renovating the section through Highway 1. This issue was imposed by a lot of reporters at the start of the press conference.
Vice Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong responded: “For Cai Lay, the tool booth is located within the scope of the project and based on the financial plan, the approval of the locality, National Assembly delegation, the Ministry of Finance”.
“In addition, to base on the financial plan is to harmonize the interests between the parties. People have good roads, the state does not have to spend budget, the investor receives profitable, and the capitalist must see the feasibility of the project to fund.
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Explaining why not use road maintenance fund to upgrade, repair and enhance national highway 1, Mr. Dong said that, road maintenance fund is just used for patching, simple repairing, can’t use to upgrade.
Answer the question of whether fee reduction at Cai Lay BOT station leads to prolonged charging time, Mr. Nguyen Quoc Dong, Deputy Minister of Construction affirmed that the charging period must be extended as it is required to adjust the financial plan.
Mr. Nguyen Danh Huy, Director of Public-Private Partnership Division (Ministry of Transport) added: “The charging period is based on the flow of traffic through that toll booth. At present, the operation at the toll booth is not stable, so the Ministry does not have accurate figures to calculate. But it is expected that after reducing fee, the collection period will last for 12-14 years.”
“We had a preliminary financial plan which adjusts the price, time. The investor will work with the credit institution for suitable adjustment. Interest rates must also be fair” said Mr. Dong. He also stressed the necessity to settle harmoniously.
The state does not repurchase Cai Lay BOT
Answering question that whether the State repurchases Cai Lay BOT, Deputy Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong said that the State’s aim is to attract investment capital, reduce the burden in the context difficult budget. In the process of applying BOT model (building-operating-transferring), if any inadequacies arisen, it must be dealt with.
For the travelling right of people, Deputy Minister of Transport said that in fact, everyone wants to be “free of charge”. Developed European countries do not charge fee. But in countries neighboring Vietnam such as China, South Korea …, this issue also similar. The state’s view is to have better road, so we should attract both the State and private units to do.
“We desperate to use the state budget, but we do not have. For medium-term plan for period from 2016-2020, the Ministry of Transport is only able to fund 30%, the 70% remaining is expected in private companies,” he said.
“Public transparency is what we tend to achieve upon implementing this investment model, but monitoring is more important. However, there should be suitable regulations and forms,” he asserted.
Not detect criminal violations
In the decision approving for the investment project signed by the Ministry of Transport, the overpass worth over 1,000 billion in Cai Lay has 7 new bridges to be constructed, but in reality there are only five bridges.
Deputy Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong said that the reason of the disappearance of two bridges is due to technical solutions upon implementation. The investor suggested replacing the two bridges with box culvert.
“As for the reduction of cost amount after the two bridges is replaced by box culvert, the Ministry will disclose specific number but certainly not much,” said Mr. Dong.
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On the responsibility of the parties related to the shortcomings of Cai Lay BOT tool booth, the spokesman of the Ministry of Transport also confirmed that it will be handled in accordance to the seriousness of violation.
“We will clarify the responsibilities of the parties for a specific review, then handling basing on procedure. If there is a criminal violation, it will be criminally handled. However, there is no criminal violation found, “he said.
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