Overall abolishment of tolls nationwide — if made in one go — will cost the govt RM400b
By P PREM KUMAR & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By BERNAMA
No new toll concession is expected to be sanctioned by the Pakatan Harapan government, in line with the coalition’s pledge to abolish tolls nationwide in the next five years.
Works Minister Baru Bian (picture) said no new concession agreement will be inked under the present government to enable an in-depth study into the existing concession agreements.
“If you are talking about the future, there will be no new concession agreement inked by the new government,” Bian told Dewan Rakyat yesterday when winding up debates on the royal address.
He was responding to an interjection by MP Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) who asked the government to give an assurance that no new toll concessions will be inked by the present government.
Bian said the new government is currently studying and evaluating proposals to abolish tolls nationwide, in stages, in the next five years.
He said the abolishments cannot be made in one go, as it will have an adverse impact on the government’s financial standing.
“Is is estimated that overall abolishment of tolls nationwide — if made in one go — will cost the government RM400 billion.”
The minister said the current study includes consultations with all stakeholders, including concession holders, road users and related government agencies.
The study will also focus on maintenance of highways and the related costs to the government, as well as the sequence of expressways to be taken over in the next five years.
Pakatan Harapan had pledged under its 14th General Election manifesto to abolish toll collection nationwide, besides cancelling the Goods and Services Tax, as well as restoring fuel subsidy for the people.