National Assembly First Deputy President Heng Samrin said Tuesday that the government supports the lowering of tolls charged by AZ Investment Co Ltd to taxi drivers using National Route 4.
Heng Samrin, who is also honorary president of the CPP, said the government granted AZ Investment a concession to maintain the road and allowed the company to charge some money
—which should match current incomes.
“I understand the [people’s difficulties], the government and the investors have to discuss in order to lower the price to be a suitable price to match the people’s living standards,” he told reporters outside the National Assembly.
AZ Investment, chaired by CPP lawmaker Ung Bun Hauv, imposed a $1.40 charge on cars traveling between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville this month. The move sparked two days of protest by taxi drivers and meetings between drivers, AZ representatives and the government.
AZ Investment National Route 4 General Manager Chuon Van Dorn said Tuesday that the company is waiting for the government to make a formal request to lower the price.
“If there is a request to lower the price, we will consider whether to lower or not,” he said. He said he expected a solution to the problem next week.
Taxi driver representative Chan Thun said that drivers are asking for a $0.50 charge to use the road.
“If the company can reduce the price, the taxi drivers will have the ability to support their families,” he said.
Two taxi drivers arrested during the Jan 4 protests will be released by Kandal Provincial Court today and will not be tried, Kandal provincial Judge In Bopha said.
In Bopha did not say why he decided to drop charges of inciting public disorder against Thorn Than and On Sam Ol.
Also on Tuesday, opposition lawmaker Son Chhay sent a letter to the Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Sun Chanthol, requesting documents relating to the awarding of the AZ toll road concession to determine whether it was granted under a proper bidding process.