The Ministry of Transport Inspectorate says violations in the management and licensing of parking lots in Hanoi and HCM City have led to the loss of dozens of billions of dong in State revenue.

Lax management, inconsistencies in administrative documents between agencies, and wrongful permission for service provider to use pavements are the main causes.

The inspectorate said construction sites and high-rise buildings lacked parking lots while many parking areas encroached on streets and sidewalks.

The Hanoi Department of Transport allowed Hanoi Parking Company to encroach on Dao Tan, Doi Cung and Cao Dat streets, though these roads are too narrow.

They also granted business permits to the Dong Xuan Company to operate on Ngo Gach, Hang Bun and Gia Ngu Streets.

The Anh Du and De Nhat companies and several other parking companies are also approved to operate parking lots against regulations.

The inspectorate said that agencies had neglected the problem, while focusing on other regulations, such as the helmet law.

Statistics from the ministry show that only 660 out of more than 4,860 cases of illegal pavement encroaching received any form of punishment.

The difference in prices for companies to use pavements in the two major cities has led to unfair preferential treatment.

For example, in 2011, Hanoi Parking Company paid less than 1,000 VND (0.04 USD) per square metre a month while others had to pay more than 30,000 VND (1.40 USD).

"The low price given to Hanoi Parking Company costs the State at least 20 billion VND (952,380 USD) each year," the inspectorate reported.

According to regulation, only the provincial People's Committee has the authority to grant pavement permits, but the inspectorate discovered that many of them are issued by the district People's Committee in Hanoi .

The Ministry of Transport ordered the Hanoi Department of Transport, together with the people's committees of Hoan Kiem and Hai Ba Trung districts to revoke any licences that are illegally granted.

They are also ordered to report back by the middle of next month.

The Ministry of Transport proposed amendments to Decision 23 issued on January 9, 2009, and Decision 07 issued on January 25, 2010, by Hanoi authorities to standardise prices for the use of roads or pavements.

However, the director of the Hanoi Department of Transport, Nguyen Quoc Hung, has sent a document to the Ministry of Transport saying that the department's permit-issuing process conformed to the ministry's and municipal people's committee's regulations and circulars.

"The department issued the agencies with car-parking permits if the agencies ensure there are fire-prevention facilities and the parking does not affect public transport," Hung said.

He claimed the department strictly obeyed municipal authorities' decisions when collecting pavement parking fees.-VNA