Govt to review 18% discount on PLUS highways

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by TMR FILE

THE government will review the 18% discount on all tolls under the North-South Expressway Project (PLUS), to assess its impact on the National Privatisation Policy.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the government now sees the discounts implemented by the previous government have an impact on other highways and that the study of all toll discounts will be the agenda of the Cabinet meeting soon.

“When the then-government Pakatan Harapan decided for the total discount, we have to review the extent to which it has an impact on the privatisation policy concerning highway tolls, whether it will have an impact like other highway tolls that will continue to rise, while PLUS highways remain at one price,” he said.

Fadillah said this when met with reporters at the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and the Social Security Organisation (Socso) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The MoU aims to foster cooperation between both parties in the implementation of training and job placement in the construction sector.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said the Employment Recruitment Incentives Programme (PenjanaKerjaya) has received 560 employers’ registration, and a total of 1,181 people have been employed for the construction sector alone.

“A total of 8,170 employers have registered under the PenjanaKerjaya that was introduced in the National Economic Recovery Plan.

“Of the total, 3,777 employers have already recruited, of which 11,368 employees have been employed through this initiative,” he said.

“Among the areas of cooperation that will be carried out between Socso and CIDB are in terms of information sharing and related expertise, through the collection of data of employers and employees in the construction sector required by the industry,” he added.

Through the MoU, Socso will fund reskilling and upskilling training that will be implemented by CIDB not only for Socso contributors who lose their jobs but also to all employees employed from June 5, including postgraduates or school graduates, laid-off employees and also the unemployed.

For employees who were laid off, they are not subject to any conditions, but the employer is not eligible to claim a hiring incentive if they re-employ workers to work in the same company.

Fadillah also said CIDB is a collaborating with Socso to collect job vacancy information from contractor companies to be filled by those who have been trained under the programme.

“For this purpose, all contractors are urged to register with Socso and then offer vacancies on the national employment portal MYFutureJobs,” he said.

Since MYFutureJobs was launched on June 15 until Aug 7, there have been 126,969 active job vacancies registered by employers. Of that number, a total of 6,564 vacancies are in the construction sector.

“Of the vacancies in the construction sector, a total of 3,045 positions or 46.4% of vacancies are in the categories of management, professionals, executives and technicians, while the rest are in various other job categories, from clerical to basic jobs,” Fadillah revealed.

In the Socso-CIDB collaboration, it is proposed that part of the recruitment incentive of RM800 or RM1,000 be paid on top of the minimum wage of the employee for 12 months.

He urged employers in the construction sector to take advantage of the recruitment incentive of RM800 or RM1,000 provided by the government by giving priority to Malaysians and are equally responsible for improving their skills.

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