This Is How Much The Government Has To Pay PLUS And MRCB For Abolishing Tolls

Toll collection is to be abolished at four places in the country starting January 2018.

Cover image via Roslin Mat Tahir/Berita Harian

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced last week that a total of four tolls across the country will be abolished come 1 January 2018

During the tabling of Budget 2018, Najib announced that there will be no collection of toll at Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau in Selangor, Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah, and Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) in Johor next year.

PLUS operates the first three tolls respectively, while Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) is the concessionaire of the EDL expressway in Johor.

Following the announcement, PLUS Malaysia Berhad confirmed that scrapping toll collections at Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau along the Federal Highway on 1 January 2018 would mean that the abolishment is realised 20 years ahead of schedule.

While the tolls will be abolished, the government will have to compensate the companies involved hundreds of million of ringgit annually

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani

Image via Syarafiq Abd Samad/Berita Harian

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani revealed in the a recorded pgoramme on TV3 which was aired on Wednesday, 1 November, that the government had to absorb the losses incurred by the companies involved.

According to Johari, as reported by Bernama, the government is expected to pay in cash compensation:

1. An estimated total of RM102 million annually for abolishing tolls at Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau in Selangor;
2. An estimated total of RM8 million annually for abolishing the toll at Bukit Kayu Hitam; and
3. An estimated total of RM70 million annually for abolishing the toll on the Eastern Dispersal Link expressway in Johor.

Johari did not elaborate further on how long the compensation period was to be.

Prior to this, Johari had told reporters after Najib unveiled Budget 2018, that the government would not compensate the highway concessionaires involved cash but instead look for alternatives such as offering them tenure extension.

Responding to the matter, PKR's Wong Chen has said that the government's decision to abolish tolls would cost taxpayers

Wong Chen has likened Najib's announcement to scrap tolls as an attempt to woo voters over in Selangor. The Kelana Jaya MP added that what Johari had revealed in the TV3 programme shows that there is no "free lunch" in Najib's budget, Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported.

"What is unacceptable is to announce the toll being abolished during the budget speech and then only six days later explain how it will be paid.

"Compensating toll operators means that all Malaysian taxpayers have to pay so that a select few who use these two tolls can use it for free," he was quoted as saying.

Do you think it's a good move to scrap toll collection at the four locations? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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