A special committee set up by the Ministry of Works, tasked with debating the merits and possible solutions to toll rate adjustments, will soon be presenting their findings to the Cabinet for further deliberation before any concrete changes can be issued, writes Bernama.
Deputy Works Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said that the committee had convened three times. Regarding her reply to Senator Zali Mat Yasin during a question-and-answer session Dewan Negara, she said to the newswire:
"It (committee) also comprises representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Public Private Partnership Unit of the Prime Minister's Department, the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA), which will negotiate with concessionaires.
"I understand there will be no more meetings after this and the outcome of the meeting will be presented in the near future.”
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said in a previous statement that there are a total of eight highways that have been deemed qualified for a toll hike in 2016, however the exact details of the hike such as the projected increases and timeline were yet confirmed.
The highways in questions are the North South Expressway (PLUS), the Second Link Highway, North-South Expressway Central Link (Elite), Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE), Seremban-Port Dickson Highway, Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS), Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) and, finally, the New North Klang Straits Bypass (NNKSB).
When asked by Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ibrahim Kader about the Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau tolls, Rosnah said that the government had no plans to abolish them, explaining that it would result in a loss of over RM2 billion to the government as well as affect the reduction of traffic on the nearby KESAS highway.
The Malaysian public has rightfully reacted with bitter criticism to the hikes in toll rates, seeing it as an futher unjustified burden on their cost of living. In concurrence with hike in travelling on highways, the public transporation fares are on the increase as well.
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