HCM City Department of Construction has proposed to collect fees on discharged water in an effort to deal with the severe flooding problem in the area.


 Employee of a drainage company at work.

 

HCM City Department of Construction has submitted the proposal to the city people's committee related to drainage service fees for the 2020-2024 period. The drainage fee in 2020 for a cubic metre of water will be VND1,430 (6 US cents) excluding VAT. The fee will increase to VND2,033 in 2021, VND2,690 in 2022, VND3,426 in 2023 and to VND4,237 in 2024. The fees are considered low compared to the proposed fees in Hai Phong, Danang, Thai Nguyen and Hanoi which is VND1,890-2,645 in 2020.

According to the Department of Construction, the fees will help the public become more responsible when dealing with wastewater. Moreover, there will be more funds to operate, maintain and manage the sewer system so that firms will be less dependent on the state's subsidies and be able to call for investors or pay loans.

The fee will be applied to all agencies, firms and households that discharge wastewater into the city sewer system. Saigon Water Corporation will calculate the amount of wastewater based on water bills. Households that do not use the service from Saigon Water Corporation will pay environment protection fees which will be calculated by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and related agencies.

If the proposal is approved, people in HCM City will have to pay VND11,029 (47 US cents) for a cubic metre of water in 2020 and up to VND16,344 in 2024, not including the VAT, for freshwater and drainage service.

HCM City Department of Finance said the proposal was necessary because the annual fund for operating, maintaining and managing the sewers, pump stations and wastewater plants was high. The costs associated with wastewater was VND1.2trn (USD51.5m) in 2017, VND1.3trn in 2018 and VND1.5trn in 2019. Meanwhile, the annual revenue from environmental protection fees only accounted for 31-33% of the total spending.

According to the department, in reality, the city's spending still can't afford the required maintenance for the sewers. Actual spending was always lower than proposed. The Department of Construction was asked to make periodic evaluation reports about the drainage service if the proposal is approved. After 2024, the Department of Construction will have to make a review report and adjust the fees so that the daily lives of the citizens will not be affected as more wastewater plants are put into use.

People in HCM City pay for freshwater, an environmental protection fee of 10% on the freshwater and VAT. Dtinews

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