Prices of goods have been on an upward trend as the government implements its subsidy rationalisation programme, but one thing is for sure – there will be no increase in toll rates this year. This was announced yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The DPM said the move was among the initiatives to help the public cushion the impact of the rising cost of living. Something has to give however, and the move will cost the government RM400 million in public funds as compensation to the toll concessionaires.

“We have decided that in order not to further burden the people, the government will compensate the companies. Toll will still have to be paid but users will not be paying new rates,” he said, explaining that the agreements with the concessionaires stated that toll rates should be increased after a certain period.

Muhyiddin added that the Works Ministry had been asked to look into the agreements to find out whether it could re-negotiate with the concessionaires to extend the concession periods. “This is a long-term initiative to ensure that the rates would not be increased,” he said.