Putrajaya looking to extend highway concessions to avoid toll hikes, compensating operators
(MMO) – The federal government is considering extending the concession periods of highway operators in the peninsula for up to 30 years to prevent future increases in toll rates, The Edge reported today.
Citing unnamed sources, the business paper reported that such a deal had yet to get Cabinet approval, but should it get the greenlight, could be announced in the second half of this year.
“I was told the government is looking to raise it up to 30 years for all concessionaires.
“It is likely to be announced in the second half of the year,” one source was reported as saying.
The same source told the newspaper that the government has already notified some highway operators of the possible extension of their concession periods.
Another source who is reportedly close to a concessionaire attributed the extension to the government’s interest in preventing a toll hike while avoiding paying compensation to highway operators.
A third source reportedly said that the longer concession periods could lead to a reduction in toll rates.
“It is likely that the highway owners would need to reduce their toll rates in exchange for a longer concession period,” the source was quoted as saying.
A fourth source claimed the deal is under review currently.
“The plan to extend the concession agreements for highway operators is being reviewed.
“However, it will still need Cabinet approval,” the source said.
Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who was the senior works minister at the time, reportedly said that the government would discuss restructuring terms with highway concessionaires in the interest of the public.
In 2020, the nation’s largest highway operator PLUS Malaysia Berhad trimmed 18 sen off its toll fares starting from February and promised not to raise it again until 2058 in return for its concession being extended another 20 years from 2038.