Price of technical inspection of vehicles to be increased

Public Transport Office [OTRACO] has announced that the price of the technical inspection of vehicles will increase from September 1st. Vehicles owners and drivers speak of an unjust measure.

Vehicle users say the rise in price for the technical control is unjust

Vehicle users say the rise in price for the technical control is unjust

Following the recent measure taken by OTRACO, the price for the technical control of public transport vehicles will go from BIF 11, 500 to BIF 35, 000. For private cars, the price will move from BIF 8,100 to 50,000 while the control will cost BIF 10,000 against BIF2,000 for motorbikes. The measure will come into force from September 1st this year.

Vehicle users say the measure is unjust. “This measure imposed by OTRACO didn’t go down well with us given that we had paid other taxes before”, says a driver met in Bujumbura city center. He was referring to the recent measure by Bujumbura Mayor that compels public parking users to pay taxes. He says they pay BIF 21,000 per month.

Another driver says the measure is unfair given that that transportation costs remain unchanged. “This measure comes to worsen the situation as we live in dire straits. We will operate at a loss”, he says.

In a note issued by OTRACO, the measure comes as a harmonization with the EAC partner states. Vehicle users say, however, that Burundi still lags behind other countries in terms of development. “It is not a good thing to compare Burundi with other EAC partner states given that the purchasing power and the cost of living are not the same”, says N.N ,a private car owner.

“We conform to the government project”

Albert Maniratunga, Director General of Public Transport Office (OTRACO) says the measure to increase the price of the technical inspection of vehicles results from the determination of the Head of State who encourages semi-public companies to avoid operating at loss. “Vehicle users will have to pay the inspection cost”.

He also says the measure has been approved by the board of the directors of the office and the Minister of Public Transportation as well. “We must increase our income given that we lost BIF 4,800 for each card delivered at BIF 8,100. It is a net loss in comparison with other EAC member states”, he says.

For the Director General, OTRACO must adapt to the EAC protocol. “We must do whatever it takes to avoid always lagging behind others”, he says.

Albert Maniratunga believes the rise in price has nothing to do with the purchasing power within the EAC partner states. “Those who think like that want to plunge the country into the abyss”, he says.

Gabriel Rufyiri, Chairman of OLUCOME, a local NGO involved in the fight against embezzlement and corruption, says the technical control for private cars, vans and others was increased three years ago. It cost at around BIF 5,000. Then, the same public institution increases it at an average of 150% for all vehicles”, he says.

For the NGO, it is an unjust measure if one refers to the cost of living of Burundians. “, Burundi cannot be compared with other EAC member states. The cost of living and the purchasing power are not the same. In Rwanda, the GDP is at 700$ per year and per inhabitant; in Uganda, it is around 600$ per year like in Tanzania and Kenya. But in Burundi, the DGP is under 300$ per year and per inhabitant”, he says.

Gabriel Rufyiri urges the government to increase the GDP and development projects instead of increasing taxes and prices that come to worsen the Burundians’ living conditions.