Finance minister Lim Guan Eng has announced that the government will continue freezing the increase on toll fares across the country this year, but told reporters that the move would cost RM1 billion in compensation to concessionaires, The Star reports.

“Although the government is freezing toll increase this year, the rakyat must remember that when this happens the government has to pay compensation. It is no small amount, certainly much more because the [toll] rate is higher,” he said at a press conference after attending a Meet-the-Customers Day event at the Federal Territories Customs Complex in Kelana Jaya recently.

Last year, the government also froze toll rate increase involving 21 highway concessionaires across the country. This benefited all classes of vehicles, with Lim adding that motorists could still enjoy the old rates throughout 2020.

Meanwhile, the cabinet decision on the proposed takeover of PLUS, including four highways operated by Gamuda, has yet to be announced. Lim said the decision would be made within the past week, and that the decision had to be made quickly to avoid paying further compensation to the concessionaires over frozen toll hikes. If the government agrees to the takeover of PLUS, motorists get to enjoy up to 18% discount in toll rates on the North-South Expressway (NSE).