Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Officials debate how to levy surcharge on motor vehicle fuel

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it is still deliberating over a proposed change to how the fuel surcharge for motor vehicles is to be levied, adding that it would not enforce any change without careful consideration.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) made the statement at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday, when it was scheduled to review the budget plans of the Institute of Transportation (IOT) — the ministry’s think tank — and the Central Weather Bureau.

Some members of the committee, including independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀), were concerned whether the ministry would make a major change in the way that the motor vehicle fuel surcharge is levied, after receiving the IOT’s research report.

Chao said that the current scheme requires all car owners in the nation to pay a fuel surcharge based on the engine size of their vehicles and that the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) has to budget about NT$340 million (US$11.26 million), to send notices to car owners to remind them to pay the charge each year.

The money could be saved if car owners pay the charge when buying gas, Chao said.

Chen said that it might be difficult for the ministry to deliver one method that would suit all, but agreed that the way the fuel charge is levied should correspond with changing technology, such as the emergence of electric cars.

IOT Director-General Jennifer Wu (吳玉珍) said that each method has its advantages if they are considered based on their fairness, adding that the various methods are being reviewed by ministry officials.

Hochen assured lawmakers that people would see the rationale behind the new method for paying a fuel surcharge, and that the committee would be briefed first before it is enforced.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Cheng Pao-ching (鄭寶清) focused on safety hazards caused by concrete pumping trucks, after a July accident on Yangde Boulevard in Taipei resulted in four dead and nine injured.

There are more than 1,000 unregistered three and four-axis concrete pumping trucks nationwide, he said, adding that, except for weight limits, the ministry does not set any standards for inspecting these trucks.

Hochen said that the DGH, the IOT and the Vehicle Safety Certification Center would jointly look into the matter.

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