Negotiations are underway to include part of road tax revenue within a special allocation for the repair of federal roads nationwide, said works minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof. This is one of the proposals put forth in negotiations with the ministry of transport towards solving the problem that is caused by overloaded vehicles, reported Bernama.

To date, proceeds from road tax collection have been put into a consolidated fund under the finance ministry for development purposes, including for the maintenance of federal roads provided through the government’s operating budget, according to the minister.

“However, the existing provisions for road maintenance received from the consolidated fund in not enough. The works ministry therefore recommends that (a) certain percentage of road tax be put into the trust account for road maintenance purposes,” the works minister told the news wire.

Fadillah said it is difficult to ascertain who was responsible for the damage caused by vehicles, in contrast to damage caused by utility repair work. “If it is due to the work of utilities, they have to pay a deposit to the public works department (PWD), we will either recover from the deposit or until the contractor repairs the damage done and adheres to the standards, PWD will be happy to return the deposit,” he said.

“But apart from utilities, it is a bit difficult for us to identify the cause of the damage, whether it is a lorry or (another kind of vehicle), (which makes this) a very complicated matter in terms of making claims,” Fadillah added. Last September, the works ministry had hoped for a bigger budget allocation when Budget 2020 was tabled the following month, and said that the funds are sorely needed for the upgrading of federal roads.

The previous year, prior to the tabling of Budget 2019, then-works minister Baru Bian said that although the annual cost of maintaining federal roads was around RM2 billion, the ministry only received between RM600 million to RM800 million a year, and said that the allocation for maintenance had to be increased.