KUALA LUMPUR: The government would need to fork out at least RM1bil in compensation to toll concessionaires if the toll rates are not increased later this year.
Speaking to reporters at the parliament lobby, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the government would need over RM1bil as opposed to the RM500mil set aside at the moment.
He explained that this was the amount needed to compensate eight concessionaires of 30 highways if the toll rates were not increased.
Fadillah however did not clarify as to whether or not there will be an increase in the toll rates.
"Wait for the legislation, we are still negotiating the matter," he said.
He added that the concessionaires called for an increase as they had a lot of maintenance work to do.
"They have to maintain and service the road, they also have to upgrade the staff in their departments,” said Fadillah.
"That is why we have to balance all aspects and that depends on the Government’s income," he said
In December, Fadillah had said that the breakdown of payments was RM214 for the North-South Highway, RM8.24mil for the Second Link Expressway and RM79.44mil for the Elite Highway.
Fadillah had said at the time that other payments included RM3.11mil for the Butterworth Kulim Expressway, RM1.95mil for the Seremban Port Dickson Highway, RM92.8mil for the KESAS Highway, RM7.8mil for the North Klang Straits Bypass and RM185.9mil for the LDP.
This amounted to RM597.24mil, which exceeded the amount set aside by the government for compensating toll concessionaires.