JB09_010815_AZALINA

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, a minister in the Prime Minister’s department, revealed that vehicle prices are on track to be reduced by 30% come 2018. According to the New Straits Times, the minister said in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng, the Segambut MP, that prices will be reduced in stages. Earlier, Lim had quizzed the minister about the government’s promises to reduce car prices and reduce toll rates during GE13.

“Various efforts have been undertaken, including the granting of incentives to reduce the amount of excise duty payable to companies of car manufacturers involved in local value-added automotive components,” she said. “These incentives are seen to be beneficial as the total price reduction recorded in 2013 was 3%, followed by 7% in 2014 and 2.7% in 2015.”

Turning her attention to ongoing discussions about toll rate hikes, Azalina said that since 2008, the government has been in negotiations with highway concessionaires to reduce the financial strain put on users by increasing toll rates. “The negotiation is aimed at finding the best mechanism to ease the burden of tolls to achieve a win-win situation for all parties involved, namely the government, concessionaires and consumers,” she said.

“Among the results of the negotiations to date are; to postpone an increase in highway toll rates since the past eight years, from 2008 until October 14, 2015,” she exclaimed. The minister highlighted that other results from the government’s negotiations include the abolishment and early closure of eight tolls on six highways, reducing toll rates for highways and improving concession agreement terms so that toll rate hikes are no longer automatically justified.