KUALA LUMPUR: The country's biggest toll operator PLUS Expressways Bhd is likely to raise toll rates by five per cent -- half the scheduled rates -- from next month.
"The revenue shortfall is expected to be compensated by the government via cash or other forms of restitution, such as extension to the concession period," a source said.
An announcement is expected to be made by the end of this month.
PLUS's scheduled toll increase of 10 per cent was due last month.
The increase would see the average toll rate rise from the current 13.60 sen per km to 14.96 sen per km.
PLUS general manager of corporate communications Khalilah Mohd Talha said they were unable to confirm the increase as they had yet to receive any official word from the government.
HWANG-DBS Vickers Research Sdn Bhd analyst Chong Tjen San said he saw PLUS receiving only a partial increase in toll rates.
He expects highway users most affected by the increase to be those plying the North-South Expressway, the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and the Federal Highway Route 2.
PLUS holds the concession to the North-South Expressway, the NKVE, the 16km stretch of Federal Highway Route 2 and the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway.
Its other newly acquired toll roads comprise Elite, Linkedua and the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway, which are not due for any increase in toll rates soon.
The government was supposed to decide last month whether to allow PLUS to raise toll rates by 10 per cent or to compensate the concessionaire.
PLUS last raised toll rates in 2005.
The next hike was supposed to be last year. However, high inflation prompted the authorities to delay the increase.
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