No Excuse for Increased Toll Rates: PLUS Profited 61%, KESAS 121%, Litrak 49%

PETALING JAYA, 17 Dec: The profits of highway concessionaires have increased by several folds each year, far surpassing predictions made when signing the concession agreement between the companies and the government.

PKR Strategy Director, Rafizi Ramli, said that the annual report for the Projek Lebuh Raya Utara Selatan Bhd (PLUS) shows a net income before taxes of RM2.515 billion or 61 percent in 2011 compared to the total net interest costs and financial payments of RM507 million incurred in 2010, including 6 percent of maintenance costs.

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He said that Konsortium Expressway Shah Alam Selangor Sdn Bhd (Kesas), recorded collected profits of 121 percent from 2008 to 2012, as reported by Maybank Investment Bank Research, dated 6 November 2013.

Meanwhile, Litrak Bhd which operates the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) and the Sprint Highway, based on the financial results for 2013, it recorded a net income of RM180 million or 49 percent, compared to the maintenance cost of 6 percent.

“There are not many businesses in the world that can reach a net income of up to 61 percent as recorded by PLUS. Looking at the maintenance cost of 6 percent from the amount of toll collected each year, it is enough to show that the current toll rate profits them several folds over.

“Each (new) increase only adds to their profit, while the people continue to be burdened with the pressures of the economy,” said Rafizi in his press conference which was held at the PKR headquarters today.

Rafizi added that allegations that the agreement between the government and highway concessionaires needs to be met is an excuse to increase the toll rates, and is an excuse that does not make sense because highway concessionaires in this country are controlled by the government.

The companies involved, which also receive monetary assistance and government subsidies, also profit many folds over each year, to a point of surpassing projections made when signing the concession agreement with the government.

Rafizi Ramli also slammed the statements by several Cabinet Ministers in several issues touching on the interests of the people by making it seem that they are separate from the people’s reality of life.

“Same as the answer previously, do they come from the moon? I very strongly criticise the statement by Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) who said a word or two to highway users to not use tolled roads if they do not agree with the increase in the toll rates,” added Rafizi.

Rafizi said that PKR also urges the government to review the decision to increase the highway toll rates which starts from next year.

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