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Don’t let greed go unchecked

The Saigon Times Daily
Monday,  Mar 6,2017,22:00 (GMT+7)
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Don’t let greed go unchecked

The Saigon Times Daily

For years, many investors of road projects developed under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) format have abused the freedom of setting toll fees.

The investor is obliged to inform a competent State agency of the total cost of a complete project, estimate the number of vehicles using the road a day, suggest a toll rate, and calculate the length of time needed to recoup investment capital.

All data given by BOT investors, however, have been found to be intentionally falsified to maximize their profits. This practice now badly needs to be put to an end.

In a report issued last week, the Ministry of Transport declares that all BOT investors will have their toll fee collection durations shortened, because their audited investments are found to have been overstated, so they must be revised down. The auditors have also discovered that toll revenues have been underreported.

Specifically, the ministry, after reviewing the State Audit of Vietnam’s auditing results at 27 BOT stations, said the tolling durations of these projects would be reduced by a combined 100 years. Many investors will see their tolling time slashed by half or even more.

In fact, most investors have reported higher costs, with many expenses found to be unsubstantiated. Meanwhile, such investors have reported far lower numbers of vehicles to secure an extension of tolling time. All are tricks out of greed.

Such tricks so far have gone unpunished, which has given good reason for such BOT investors to disrespect law. Such greed cannot be accepted, if the rule of law is to be held in high esteem.

Apart from thorough inspections to verify the real cost, regular checks to determine and update numbers of vehicles are imperative to ward off any malpractices. In the longer term, the State should also force all BOT road project owners to apply modern traffic monitoring technology so that any changes will be timely updated and transparency secured. Don’t let greed to go unchecked.

The Saigon Times Daily

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Giấy phép Báo điện tử số: 321/GP-BTTT, cấp ngày 26/10/2007
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Pham Huu Chuong
Managing Editors: Nguyen Van Thang, Huynh Cam Tung
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