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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 3, 2000 - Papua New Guinea Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---The high cost of road maintenance and the lack of money may result in road users paying more fees in terms of road user charges.

Those with heavy vehicles or loads would be most affected if proposed legislation for road use tariffs, currently being studied, are passed and adopted by Parliament.

A workshop on road management and finance was told in Port Moresby this week that reliance on annual budgetary appropriations by the government for road maintenance was unsatisfactory.

The allocations invariably were not enough to permit the roads to be kept in a satisfactory condition. At least K 60 million (US$ 20.1 million) a year is needed over the next five years to restore the national network.

Since the government wants the tariff on road use to be based on the costs to be incurred, its cost recovery system would likely charge users an explicit tariff for road use. That would have two components:

There is as yet no practical way of charging on this basis for each trip, but a practical compromise would probably involve:

Existing charges imposed on road users comprise:

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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