toll booth

Earlier in the month, it was reported that no decision had yet been made by the government on a possible hike in toll rates for eight highways. That thought continues to prevail, with the Works Ministry again stating that there are no plans to allow an increase in toll rates for these highways, The Star reports.

The ministry said via a statement that “currently no discussion or decisions were made on this matter at the ministerial level,” but added that if an increase was not agreed to, the government will have to fork out as much as RM593 million in compensation

The ministry said it was aware of the monetary burdens that the public currently faces, and would strive for a solution by conducting discussions with the concessionaires, adding that these would be conducted with the aim of reaching a “win-win situation” between the government and concessionaires, the report added.

“In these meetings, issues that demand attention like reducing the monetary burden of toll users, the obligations of the concession holders to bond holders and guarantors, and government interests and obligations must be addressed,” the ministry said in its statement.

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The primary issue concerns the possibility of a hike in PLUS toll rates. It has been previously reported that the highway concessionaire may be allowed to raise its rates by as much as 5% next year under revised agreement terms.

Earlier in the week, Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin said he will oppose any toll price increase by PLUS if a proposal is tabled in Cabinet. He said that while PLUS has the right to increase prices by 5% as outlined in its concession agreement, the final approval still has to come from the federal government.

He also reminded the government that it had promised the public that there would no increase in inter-city toll rates in the previous general election.

The other highways that may face toll rate increases in 2016 are the Second Link Highway, North-South Expressway Central Link (Elite), Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE), Seremban-Port Dickson Highway, Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS), Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) and the New North Klang Straits Bypass (NNKSB).