China Information

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Authorities move to end road toll fees racket

The nation‘s transportation authority is cracking down on unlawful privileges given to owners of vehicles who pay no or reduced fees on toll roads.
  
  The Ministry of Communications has published a detailed plan to put an end to such practices by February 1 next year.
  
  The plan follows malpractices found by the National Audit Office in an investigation this year on road toll fees.
  
  The audit investigation found that local communications departments in a few provinces exempt or reduce toll fees for certain vehicles that should not enjoy such privileges.
  
  According to the Regulation on Toll Roads, vehicles of the military and armed police forces, police cars on duty, vehicles that are assigned by the government to rescue or deal with emergencies, and combine harvesters that need to work in other areas, do not have to pay toll fees.
  
  Farmers‘ vehicles that drive on roads named by the government as green channels for transporting agricultural products are also exempt or pay reduced fees.
  
  Other vehicles, including those belonging to governments, do not have the privilege.
  
  The report said some local communications departments expanded the privilege range without authorization.
  
  A total of 11 provinces and municipalities were mentioned in the report Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces in Northeast China, Jiangsu, Anhui and Shandong provinces in East China, Henan and Hubei provinces in Central China, Guangdong Province in South China, Chongqing Municipality in Southwest China and Shaanxi Province in Northwest China.
  
  The ministry has called on all local communications departments to confiscate the illegal permits they issued.
  
  All communications departments must also define what vehicles can be exempt or pay reduced toll fees.
  
  The ministry will publicize the policies of toll fee collection in the media, to bring into full play the supervisory role of the people.

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