Wheel tax for vehicles not licensed for Yangon, that run on public roads in Yangon is set to raise, U Phyo Min Thein, Chief Minister of Yangon Region, said. This tax increase was discussed at the 11th regular meeting between Vice President No-1 and local businessmen, held at Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) during the last week of October.
This tax increase is part of the Yangon Regional Government’s traffic solution plan to minimize congestion on public roads in Yangon. However, this may also end up making it more difficult for Yangonians to own a car. This will be next phase in the overall traffic plan the government has been working on, which includes other types of transportation like the Yangon Bus Service, school buses, water taxies, and a ban on temporary licenses for taxis.
‘‘We are seeing more and more vehicles running in the streets of Yangon that are not licensed for the city, and that adds to traffic congestion in Yangon. To address the issue, we are planning to raise wheel tax and parking tax,’’ he said.
Yangon Region’s Chief Minister explained the basic plan to raise wheel tax, but did not mention by what percentage it would be raised nor did he give a time frame for the implementation of the new tax.
Yangon has more than 5 million people, and is the economic hub of the country. So it's no surprise that it also suffers with the worst traffic congestion in the country. A problem that began after former the president U Thein Sein’s led government changed its vehicle import policy, which resulted in lower vehicle prices and easing of the importing process.
There are approximately 400,000 vehicles including 40,000 buses and 40,000 taxis in Yangon, according to the Yangon Regional government. However the Yangon Regional Government needs accurate numbers of vehicles running in Yangon roads that are not licensed, so they will conduct a survey through the Departments of Road Transportations.
Currently, non-licensed vehicles in Yangon have to pay K200 wheel tax along with the city entrance fee. Former president U Thein Sein once tried to raise the amount of wheel tax to K1000, but cancelled the plan of raising wheel tax because of protests.
U Phyo Min Thein also said that his regional government has almost finished upgrading traffic lights system to take action against the vehicles without license.
‘‘Our system — which includes vehicle tracking devices, CCTV and the control center — will immediately know if a vehicle, for instance, registered at the Road Transport Department as a saloon (sedan), is suddenly a van. So we will take serious actions on abuse of the system as well as illegal vehicles,’’ U Phyo Min Thein said.