KUALA LUMPUR: The government is going ahead with the plan to acquire four highways from Gamuda Bhd.
The takeover, first announced by the Finance Ministry in June, has been approved by the Cabinet, Lim Guan Eng said in Budget 2020 speech today.
Under the plan, the government will pay RM6.2bil to acquire Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS), Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), Sprint Expressway (SPRINT) and SMART Tunnel (SMART).
Gamuda is a substantial shareholder in all four highways.
The takeover will be funded via government-guaranteed borrowings.
"With the introduction of congestion charges that will be lowered by up to 30% of the present toll rates during near peak and normal hours and free during off-peak hours, this will provide a savings to the highway users nearly RM180mil a year, or RM2bil over the respective concession periods," Lim said.
There will be no extension of the existing concessions.
"The acquisition of these highways will not burden the government because the financing, operations and maintenance cost will be entirely funded by the collection of toll and congestion charges without requiring any future funding by the government," Lim said.