Govt can abolish toll, but in stages


ALOR STAR: The government can abolish tolls, but it has to be done in stages by taking into account the country’s financial capability, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah. He said abolishing toll could bring positive impact on the country’s economy. “Abolishment of toll can help reduce the price of goods as this is determined by the cost incurred by traders . “If toll is abolished, a component of the cost is removed, so the impact is it will reduce costs,” he told reporters at the “Bakar Lemang” (Cook lemamng) programme at Masjid Taman Berlian here today. He said this when asked whether abolishing tolls could impact the country’s economy. Amiruddin said any move to abolish toll collection would start on expressways with no alternative roads. “There are tolled expressways with alternative roads..people who do not want to pay toll can use the normal roads. “However, before any such decision is made, we have to see whether we have to take into account the compensation for the expressway concessionaires,” he said. In another development, Amiruddin said the Finance Ministry welcomed the suggestion by chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), Tun Daim Zainuddin for the ministry to improve its governance to ensure the country’s economy remained on the right track. “We are open to all suggestions and that is why we issue open tenders to ensure the government gets back value for money. “The previous government entered into many deals through direct negotiations resulting in the government to incur losses,” he said. - BERNAMA

Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah (third, right) said abolishing toll could bring positive impact on the country’s economy. (NSTP/AMRAN HAMID)

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