By BERNAMA / Pic By TMR File
The federal government will compensate PLUS Malaysia Bhd for the abolishment of toll collection at the Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau toll plazas along the Federal Highway and at the Bukit Kayu Hitam toll plaza in Kedah.
The other concessionaire, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, which owns the Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway in Johor, will also be paid by the government for the loss in revenue when toll is scrapped on this highway on Jan 1, 2018.
“We are already in the final stage of discussion and we have to pay (the compensation) because the government has taken over their assets and toll collection, and this is all for the people,” said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani (picture) over the “Soal-Jawab” recorded programme aired on TV3 on Wednesday.
He stressed that the government had to absorb the losses incurred by the companies involved.
Government compensation for the Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau tolls in Selangor is estimated at RM102 million annually, while for scrapping the toll at Bukit Kayu Hitam, the government would have to cough out an estimated RM8 million from its coffers.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, who is also the finance minister, announced the abolishment of four tolls, commencing Jan 1 next year.
On affordable housing, he said according to Bank Negara Malaysia, the average Malaysian is only able to borrow RM250,000 and below to purchase a house, but there is insufficient supply of houses priced below RM250,000.
He said the government would ensure a sufficient supply of affordable houses in new townships while continue efforts to promote house ownership among the people.
This includes the government’s move to allocate RM2.2 billion for the housing sector with 1Malaysia People’s Housing scheme receiving RM1.5 billion to construct 210,000 affordable houses priced at RM250,000 and below.
Johari added that the government would also continue with programmes such as the People’s Housing Project, 1Malaysia People Friendly Homes under Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, and the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme.