Three months after Mon State municipal authorities began collecting road tolls, the results are in: Thaton and Bilin collected the highest quantities in city entry fees, according to the Mon State’s Municipal Affairs Department.
Mon State has raked in K 374.903 million between the second week of June through the end of August. Thaton township ranked first in the state with K 89.309 million, followed by Bilin township with K 64.997 million.
“We will use the revenue from the city entry tolls in road-building and regional development [projects] such as water distribution and cleaning,” said U Myint Aung, director of the Mon State’s Municipal Affairs Department.
“We are planning to tarmac Thamein Bayan Road and Thatana Beikman Road and the road from Ar Makhan Trigan to Padamyar Gone Sinn Taung Wine Road in the upcoming season,” he added.When the Municipal Affairs Department outsourced toll collection through Shwe Than Lwin Company and Aye Ko Company, it projected a K 59.9 million take by the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year. Since the department itself took over the collection, however, it has upped that estimate to between K 90 and K 100 million by the end of the year, U Myint Aung said.
Mon State’s other townships did not fair poorly either: Mudon township collected K 62.457; Kyaikhto township raked in K 53.566 million, Mawlamyine township netted K 50.631 million, Paung township took K 18.233 million; Thanbyuzayat township collected K 15.615 million; Ye township netted K 12.873 million; Chaungzon township took K 4.966 million and Kyaikmaraw township made K 2.256 million.
By contrast, the Rakhine State government collected K 94.270 million from its 19 licensed toll stops over the 2017-18 fiscal year, but decided to discontinue the tolls in June in order to reduce financial burdens on the public.
The state government agreed to suspend the tolls for the 2018-19 fiscal year at the urging of the state’s municipal affairs department, and to reimburse tender fees to the collection companies.
Economists have pointed out that city entry tolls are one of the reasons behind the rise in commodity prices, increasing the cost of transit and logistics.