In a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, Mang Weing border checkpoint has adopted driver substitution system starting from the first week of April, and China unexpectedly scaled up charges for driver substitution on 11 October.
“China increased charges for driver substitution. Earlier, more than 20 substitute drivers were assigned to transport the goods, under the supervision of China’s authority. Now, a company is responsible for handling this. The charge for substitute driver was earlier set at 20 Yuan. The rate has now remarkably jumped to 100 Yuan. At present, five drivers are operating this. The charge is an exorbitant rate, with entry and exit fees set at K20,000 each”, said chair of Muse-Namkham Chamber of Commerce. As China has been stepping up border control measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19, the driver substitution policy has been exercised on Muse, Mang Weing and Kyalgaung border route.
The hike in driver charges hurt the traders from both sides. The traders between Myanmar and China are planning to negotiate with the price increase, he added. Before the change in charges, about 500 trucks were seen in border trade between Myanmar and China. The current rate delays the car and about 100 are seen per day. Consequently, border trade through Muse drastically dropped. —Salai Vanro Than (IPRD)
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)