KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is forking out RM59.77mil in compensation to four highway concessionaires to defer any toll hike for this year and next, Parliament heard.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the Cabinet had agreed that compensation be paid if the concessionaires do not increase tolls for the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL), Kajang-Seremban Highway (Lekas), Senai-Desaru Expressway (SDE), and Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE).
“The Cabinet on Oct 12 agreed to postpone any restructuring of toll rates for the year 2016 and 2017. This means that there will be no toll hikes for the four highways this year and next year,” he said in his ministerial reply on Budget 2017 on Thursday.
He was responding to Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping), who had asked for a clarification on whether there would be a toll hike at the four highways next year.
Fadillah said that the Government restructured toll rates for the North-South Expressway in 1999, 2002, and in 2011.
He said the concession agreement with PLUS Malaysia Bhd will end on Dec 31, 2038.
To a question by Abdul Khalid Samad (Amanah-Shah Alam) on whether the Government could review the terms and condition of previous concession agreements, Fadillah said it would be difficult as the Government is bound by those agreements.
“It would be difficult as the review would not only involve the Government and the concessionaire, but would also affect banks, bond issuers, and company shareholders,” he said.
PLUS Malaysia had earlier had confirmed that there would be no changes in the toll rates for any of the eight highways it operates.
In a statement, it said that toll rates on the PLUS-operated highways have remain unchanged since 2005.
These highways include the North-South Expressway (NSE), the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Federal Highway Route 2 (FRHR2), and the Seremban Port-Dickson Highway (SPDH).
It also operates the North-South Expressway Central Link (NSECL), the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing (MSSC), Lebuhraya Butterworth-Kulim (BKE), and the Penang Bridge.
The statement by PLUS came just hours after reports of toll hikes of between RM0.20 and RM3.00 for several highways in the Klang Valley.