Govt all set to jack up fees for vehicles
The government is going to increase fees for most of the services provided by the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, putting additional financial burden on private and commercial vehicle owners.
Fees for 75 services, like registering vehicles and issuance of fitness certificate, route permit, and driving licence, would be increased by up to 233 percent.
Once the decision is put into effect, which could happen within two weeks, the people will have to bear the additional expenses, transport operators have said.
The BRTA will also levy charges for nine new services, like registration of motor workshops, licence for conductors, and reviews of points on driving licences.
Charges for three services, including registration of two types of motorcycles, will remain the same, indicating the government's favourable policy towards two-wheelers, a major reason for the rise in crashes and deaths.
The fee hike comes after the government issued the rules for Road Transport Act-2018, for which a gazette was published on December 27.
Apart from the additional fees, vehicle owners will have to pay a certain amount to a to-be-made government fund for road accident victims.
According to the rules, the owner of a bus, truck, lorry, and articulated lorry will pay Tk 1,500 a year to the fund. The amount will be Tk 750 for a minibus, minitruck, and pickup; Tk 500 for a car, SUV and microbus; and Tk 300 for a three-wheeler.
A motorcycle owner will pay a one-time Tk 1,000, read the rules.
Registration of a three-wheeler, up to 100cc, will be Tk 1,000, from the current Tk 635. All three-wheelers above 100cc will require a flat Tk 1,800 registration fee instead of Tk 1,150.
Fees for registration of bikes of up to 100cc remain at Tk 2,000, bikes above 100cc still at Tk 3,000, and special vehicles for people with disabilities have been kept at Tk 25.
Driving schools will have to pay Tk 23,000 for a licence. They used to pay Tk 15,000. Instructor's licence will be Tk 2,000 instead of Tk 750.
BRTA Chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder said the rules and the new rate of fees came into effect immediately after the gazette was issued. He told The Daily Star yesterday that the BRTA might take a few days to reconfigure their system for collecting the fees.
However, a top official said the BRTA was going to start collecting the money for the fund from next Sunday and the new fees in about two weeks.
Last fiscal year, the BRTA registered 5.23 lakh vehicles and issued 7.84 lakh driving licences, 5.64 lakh fitness certificates and 2.05 lakh route permits, shows BRTA documents.
The transport authority last hiked fees in 2014 but halved motorcycle registration fees in early 2021.
A BRTA high official said they had sent the draft rules for Road Transport Act-2018 to the Road Transport and Highways Division where officials suggested hikes in some fees. The official claimed that the Road Transport and Highways Division then sent the draft to the Finance Division jacking up the fees.
Contacted, Khondaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, said vehicle maintenance costs had already gone up by 40 percent due to the price hike of fuel and spare parts and the rise in tolls for bridges.
"In this situation, if the authorities increase the fees … transport owners will not agree to run buses unless the fares are adjusted," he said.
The BRTA chairman said the fees were last revised in 2014 and the Finance Division increased them this time considering inflation over the last eight years. "We don't think it would be a heavy burden on service seekers."
Saidur Rahman, executive director of Road Safety Foundation, said service seekers face hassles at the BRTA and the delivery of services is not people friendly.
"Amid such a situation, they are increasing service charges, which will put more burden on service seekers," he told The Daily Star yesterday.
The BRTA should first make their service delivery up to the mark and hassle-free and then consider increasing charges reasonably, he added.