The Ministry of Public Works and Transport netted over $70 million from selling special and personalised vehicle licence plates from September 2016 to February this year.
According to the ministry’s March 24 report, in 2021 alone the selling of special and personalised plates accounted for nearly $17 million, an increase of about nine per cent over the previous year.
The figures were released during a meeting led by ministry secretary of state Koy Sodany – who is also head of the commission in charge of special and personalised plates – to review the progress of the sales.
Beside revenue generated from the plates, the meeting discussed the selection of 14 private companies to deal with the selling of these special items – at an agreed price.
It also reviewed more than 60,000 intellectual property brands that had been received from the Ministry of Commerce and that would be entered into the system to avoid the use of those registered names on personalised plates.
A review of the price calculation algorithm for licence plates that included the numbers 168 was held as well.
According to the ministry, a special plate has “Phnom Penh” or the name of the province issued in Khmer at the top and in Latin below, The number begins with one class digit, dependent on the type of vehicle, followed by one or two Latin letters and then four digits that can be specified.
A personalised plate has the word “Cambodia” at the top, with one to eight letters and numbers on the next line. It can contain virtually any arrangements of letters and numbers, including people’s names if they so desire. On the right side, there is a QR Code which has information about the vehicle. Number plates can be purchased online through vehicle.mpwt.gov.kh.
Hong Vannak, an economic analyst at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the additional income generated from the selling of these plates is a huge positive.
“It contributes to the Cambodian economy and creates jobs and services for the state. When we think about the bigger picture, it is clear that all state institutions ought to introduce services and products that generate incomes. No matter whether large or small, it will contribute to the national economy,” he said.
He applauded the ministry for this initiative, saying it meant they were not just spending public money on road and infrastructure construction.
“The government is not a family. All parts of government need to be frugal with their spending and innovative in finding ways to generate income, in order to pay for current budget requirements or to reduce debt from foreign loans,” he said.
All state services should be easy for the public to access, he added.