KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not be able to do away with the highway toll collection due to the country's current financial position, says Works Minister Baru Bian.
Hence, it is misleading to assume that the new government will do away with toll collection in two to three months, he said on Tuesday.
"We will hold on to the present toll (collection) until the financial situation of this country is healthy. This means we are looking at other alternatives," he said.
He also said his ministry gets between RM600mil and RM800mil of the RM2bil annual budget.
"Every year, we get less than 50% of the RM2bil budget and we have been asked to reduce further. We have a 30% backlog of maintenance to do. If we do not carry out the road maintenance, this backlog will rise to 40%-50%.
"Safety of road users is paramount. So we are going to plead with Finance Ministry to get our allocation. If we do not do maintenance, you will get potholes and other issues," he said.
“So doing away with toll collection will have to wait until the country is in better financial health,” he said.