Toll reduction: First to be implemented despite concession period extension, says Finance Minister

GEORGE TOWN (Jan 18): The move to reduce the toll rate by 18 per cent on several highways under Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (PLUS), is the first to be implemented in the country, despite extension of the concession period.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pictured) said the positive approach was to ensure the well-being of the people as by doing so the people would enjoy the benefits.

"This is the first time the toll concession period is extended and toll rate is reduced. The new government is doing this in staying true to its principles. We are taking measures which will benefit the people unlike previously when only the private companies will rake in the profits," he told reporters after a ceremony at Bukit Gelugor Customs Quarters here today.

Lim said the 18 per cent toll reduction was a different or new approach being adopted by the present government for the people to enjoy the economic benefits, adding that the reduction would be maintained until 2058.

“Previously when the government extended the concession (after PLUS concession expired in 2018 and was extended for another 20 years to 2038) the toll rate was never reduced...but this time when we (the current government) extend the concession period to 2058, the toll rate is reduced,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked why the 18 per cent toll reduction would not apply to buses and trucks, Lim said further clarification on the matter would be made at a later date.

Last Thursday, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said the toll reduction would begin as early as Feb 1 this year and there will be no hikes until 2058.

The highways include the North-South Expressway (NSE), New Klang Valley Express (NKVE), North-South Expressway Central Link (Elite), Malaysian Singapore Second Link (Linkedua), East Coast Highway Phase Two (LPT2), Port-Dickson-Seremban Highway (SPDH), Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE) and Penang Bridge (JPP).

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