The Association of Highway Concessionaires Malaysia (PSKLM) has said that the possible scheduled toll rate increase will allow concessionaires to better absorb financing and rising maintenance costs.
PSKLM mentioned the move took into consideration the agreements made between the concessionaires and the financers and is not not solely based on the agreement between the government and the toll operators.
Referencing a Malaysian Highway Authority’s study, PSKLM stated that about 75% of the tolls collected were to service debt, with another 20% spent on maintenance and overheads.
PSKLM reaffirmed that not all highways were profit-making, citing the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) Tunnel which spent about one third of its annual income on maintenance alone.
“Traffic volume is below projection as the SMART tunnel has to be closed whenever the situation warranted to alleviate flooding, and the cleaning up costs could go up to RM500,000,” it said.
Recently, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the government would consider paying a compensation of RM580 million to 23 toll concessionaires if there is no increase in toll rates.
Toll concessionary companies were eligible to request for an increase in toll rates which needed to be reviewed every three years, five years or seven years, he said.
In 2013, toll collection amounted to RM5.4 billion while 2014 saw a takeway of RM5.425 billion. This according to Deputy Works Minister Datuk Seri Rosnah Rashid Shirlin.