JOHOR BARU: The Chinese New Year brought good news for lorry owners when the Road Transport Department (JPJ) was directed to refund the excess road tax charged on lorries.
The directive came following a meeting between the Pan Malaysia Lorry Owners Association (PMLOA) and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy recently to sort out the confusion where JPJ had charged more for lorry road tax, contrary to the announcement in the 2003 Budget.
Chan stressed that the road tax for lorries had been reduced as announced by the Government and ordered JPJ to reimburse “on the spot and in cash” the excess payment after the Chinese New Year holidays.
PMLOA president Er Sui See said the association was relieved that the confusion had been cleared as the excess payment had caused a big dent in the owners’ pockets.
“The association would like to thank the Deputy Minister for helping us clear the matter as now we know for sure the exact road tax we have to pay.
“We also hope there will be no hassle in claiming the excess payment at the JPJ offices as the matter has already been sorted out,” he said in an interview.
Er estimated payment of monthly and quarterly road taxes for some 70,000 lorries had been made since Jan 1.
The Star recently reported that lorry owners were unhappy with the discrepancies in road tax payments, claiming JPJ had increased charges whereas the Government had announced otherwise.
Lorry owners said instead of enjoying reduced payments, they were slapped with higher bills by JPJ beginning Jan 1, despite letters issued by the Finance and Transport ministries last year on the new road tax scheme.
This had forced lorry owners to fork out 20% to 25% more than the previous charges.
Previously, the road tax for a 32-tonne lorry was RM680 per month but the 2003 Budget had announced a reduction, whereby the tax would be RM492 per month from Jan 1.
However, the lorry owners paid RM821 monthly instead, which was 20% more than the old charges.