KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali gave his assurance that the government’s move to take over the concessions of four highways to reduce transportation costs, will not affect other projects involving the people’s interests.
He said the government’s move to begin negotiations with Gamuda Berhad to take over the concessions of Damansara Puchong Expressway, the Western KL Traffic Dispersal System, Shah Alam Expressway and SMART Tunnel was in line with the Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto at the last general election.
“This is our commitment in the past general election, but negotiations and discussions are being carried out so that it can be made in stages because the impact on the national’s finance is large.
“We have to ensure it will not affect other economic developments, as while we want to implement the manifesto, we also want economic development to continue to expand,” he told reporters, here today.
Earlier, Mohamed Azmin accompanied the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Tengku Permaisuri Selangor, Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin who visited the Tamu Hotel & Suites in Kampung Baru, here.
Commenting further, Mohamed Azmin said that the expected takeover costs were still in the negotiation stage and the ministry concerned would issue a statement as soon as all matters were completed.
“The discussion is underway, the ministry concerned will issue a statement as soon as all these matters are completed, our commitment is clear... (but) all cases need to be refined because we do not want this commitment to adversely other matters that need attention,” he said.
Last night, the Prime Minister’s Department issued a statement that the government had already begun negotiations with Gamuda Berhad to take over the concessions of four highways of which the company had majority holds.
According to the statement, the government aspired to abolish the existing toll mechanism after it successfully took over the highways concerned.
Based on the statement, a congestion charge will be introduced whereby consumers would only be asked to pay the congestion fee which is equal to the existing toll rates for the peak hours for six hours a day. — Bernama