EghtesadOnline: Transport experts agree that the rise in road toll introduced by the Islamic Republic of Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, which will come into effect on August 23, will be passed along the supply chain and eventually impact the cost of consumer goods.
Road toll charges for transport of goods will rise from 3% to 4% in the bill of lading. The new directive, issued on July 18 by deputy minister of roads and urban development, Davoud Keshavarzian, is aimed at making road transport costlier and, ultimately, less attractive compared to rail transport.
Javad Semsarilar, a former director of International Transport Companies Association of Iran, told the Persian daily Jahan-e Sanat that road haulage accounts for 90% of Iran’s goods transportation.
“Multimodal transport is the best system of goods transportation, which is absent in Iran. Each system of transport in our country works on its own. Therefore, the rise in road taxes will hurt people and won’t improve rail transport,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Noting that a 1% rise in tax and duties will add a 15% rise in the prices of goods, Semsarilar concluded that the move will push up inflation and prices along the way.
“Rail and road transport should become increasingly complementary in the future,” said Abolfazl Bahredar, the head of Iranian Association of Rail Transport Engineering, adding that it is wrong to view these two systems as rivals.
“To promote rail transportation, the ministry needs to consider other options rather than increasing road tolls. For example, why not designate the transportation of heavy goods, which is better suited and easier by rail, to freight trains instead of trucks,” he added.