Yangon April 4
The Construction Ministry has ceased collecting tolls at 161 out of 302 toll gates across the country—a move which transporters have viewed as a contributor to basic commodity prices decline.
“(The Construction Ministry) put those toll gates out to tender to get so-called State’s funds. Transporters had to incur high transportation charges because of those toll gates and the high transportation costs had led to high commodity prices,” said U Hla Oo from Commodity Transporters Association.
“If we no longer have to pay tolls, the transportation costs may decline and the price of basic commodities such as rice, oil, pepper and onion will fall,” he added.
The Ministry of Construction had put the collection of tolls out to tender to businessmen. Vehicles had to pay tolls which vary based on their sizes and the loads they were carrying in transporting things from place to place in the country.
As a result, the price of commodities was increased by transportation cost and tolls when they reached on the market from the place of production.
“ For example, one-thirds of the price of rice on the market in Yangon is that of toll and transportation cost, and the two-thirds is the original price. Of course, this is the reason of high commodity prices,” said a wholesaler from Bayintnaung Wholesale Market.
According to the Ministry of Construction, it has abolished four toll gates in Kayah State, 39 in Sagaing Region, nine in Taninthayi Region, nine in Bago Region, 22 in Magway Region, six in Mandalay Region, four in Mon State, 18 in Rakhine State, three in Yangon Region, 25 in Shan State and 22 in Ayeyarwady Region, totaling 161.
The Myawady Daily