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If toll concessionaires do not raise their toll rates as expected this year, the government would need to compensate them with RM1 billion in exchange. Works minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said that this figure is double what the government had originally planned to pay.

According to The Star, additional maintenance costs for the upkeep of highways is the main reason for the increased figure. “They have to maintain and service the road, they also have to upgrade the staff in their departments,” Fadillah explained.

However, despite previous announcements, there is still no certainty of toll rates going up this year. “Wait for the legislation, we are still negotiating the matter,” Fadillah told reporters. “We have to balance all aspects and that depends on the Government’s income,” he added.

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The publication also reported that in December, the minister revealed a breakdown for the payments required. It is said that a total of RM214 million is needed for the North-South Highway, RM8.24 million for the Second Link Expressway and RM79.4 million for the Elite Highway.

A further RM3.11 million is needed for the Butterworth Kulim Expressway, RM1.95 million for the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway, RM92.8 million for Kesas, RM7.8 million for the North Klang Straits Bypass and RM185.9 million for the LDP.

This itself totalled to RM597 million – exceeding the RM500 million the government had previously allocated to compensate the relevant toll concessionaires this year to avoid a hike.