Beijing Urged by Advisory Body to Step Up Vehicle Restrictions

Beijing should step up measures to restrict the number of vehicles in China’s capital and ease traffic congestion, according to a government advisory body.

“The government should set up a car exiting mechanism so that there will be zero growth or even negative growth of cars in the next five to ten years in the central area of the city,” the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference said in a report on its website today.

The recommendations come less than two weeks after the nation’s biggest automobile association voiced concerns that the government is preparing to widen the number of cities curbing auto purchases. Such restrictions could undermine economic growth and the ability for local brands to compete, according to the government-backed car group.

Car sales should be restricted to people having legitimate parking space and motorists should be charged a registration fee when buying a vehicle, according to the Beijing chapter of the CPPCC. Vehicle ownership in the capital will probably climb to about 6 million units by end of 2015.

Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary general at China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said on July 10 that the trade body is opposed to government vehicle restrictions because they undermine consumption, deprive people of the right to own a car and don’t do much to ease traffic jams.

The CPPCC advises the National People’s Congress, the country’s legislature, and has committees that include economic affairs, population, and ethnic and religious affairs. It is made up of delegates from political parties, quasi-government organizations such as the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, business people and independent members with no political affiliation.