Independent party to study toll collection

By P PREM KUMAR & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By TMR

The federal government will appoint an independent auditor early next month to assist the government in preparing data analysis and recommendations on the toll collection issue.

Works Minister Baru Bian said the data analysis and recommendations would include reduction of toll rates in the short, medium and long terms.

“On Oct 31, the Cabinet, after considering the direction of toll collection in the country, has agreed to appoint an independent auditor.

“The analysis results are expected to be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration and consent in May next year,“ he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Bian was responding to MP Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer (Pakatan Harapan-Jelutong) who asked when the government would be expected to stop toll collection at the first Penang Bridge and North-South Expressway (NSE) as stated in the 14th General Election manifesto.

Bian said the Pakatan Harapan government has always been looking for the best solution to reduce highway toll rates and eventually abolish toll collection on all highways including the NSE and Penang Bridge.

The promise, however, can only be implemented once the country’s finances stabilised.

Previously, Bian said the government was considering alternatives for tolls after it deferred plans to abolish toll collection.

Among the proposals were reducing existing toll rates or introducing flat rates, giving 20% off-peak discounts and maintaining toll rates for the next two to three years.