Declare revenue shared with highway firms, Government urged

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Declare revenue shared with highway firms, Government urged

Postby admin » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:00 am

PETALING JAYA: The Government should declare any financial gain it has received from its revenue-sharing agreements with highway operators like Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong, PLUS and SecondLink.

Fomca secretary-general Muhammad Sha’ani said the Government should also rechannel the revenue back to the public by ensuring toll charges remained low.

“Since the Government has to pay compensation each time it asks the toll operators not to increase toll rates, why can’t this be discounted against the revenue it has gained to benefit consumers and road users?

“This will only be fair as toll charges affect the public anyway,” he said here yesterday.

Muhammad was responding to reports that the LDP operator had signed a supplementary agreement with the Government to share its revenue while PLUS and SecondLink had also inked similar deals.

The sharing mechanism kicks in the moment the highway operators have achieved their projected toll revenue for the year.

Muslim Consumers Association secretary-general Datuk Dr Ma’amor Osman said a third party should be engaged to audit the revenue received by the highway operators to ensure the Government got its share.

“The highway operators need to justify their costs of construction and running the highways so that these cannot be inflated.

“Highway operators can also earn millions from outdoor advertising and rentals from stalls in rest and recreation areas,” he said.

MCA information and communication bureau chief Lee Wei Kiat said from the initial reading of the documents, the main aim of the agreements was to generate profits and that it had totally neglected the interests of both the Government and the people.

“The Government should conduct an overall review of the privatisation of our highways to ensure that this is aimed at benefiting the people, not otherwise,” he said, adding that the original objectives of constructing the toll highways should not be forgotten.

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