Taking over highway concessions won’t impact other projects, says Azmin

ECONOMIC Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali gave his assurance that the government’s move to take over the concessions of four highways will not affect other projects involving the people’s interests.

He said the government’s move to begin negotiations with Gamuda Bhd to take over the Damansara-Puchong Expressway, Western KL Traffic Dispersal System, Shah Alam Expressway and SMART Tunnel concessions was in line with Pakatan Harapan’s general election manifesto.

“This was our commitment in the past general election. Negotiations and discussions are being carried out so that it can be done in stages because it will have a major impact on the nation’s finances.

“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 said in Kuala Lumpur today.

Earlier, Azmin accompanied Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin on a visit to Tamu Hotel & Suites in Kampung Baru.

Azmin added that the takeover costs were still being negotiated and that the ministry concerned would issue a statement as soon as all matters were finalised.

“The discussion is under way. 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 affect other matters that need attention.” 

Last night, the Prime Minister’s Department had issued a statement that the government had begun negotiations with Gamuda Bhd to take over the concessions of four highways of which the company has a majority stake in.

According to the statement, the government aims to abolish the existing toll mechanism after it takes over the highways concerned.

A congestion charge equal to existing toll rates will instead be introduced during peak hours. – Bernama, February 24, 2019.

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