Friday, November 30, 2007

Express way toll rate increase - suspension at a heavy price

On Nov. 28, the Cabinet decided to suspend an upward toll revision for 2008.

According to concession term, a revision of rates was due for the ensuing year.

The toll revision had been much talked about in the market for a simple reason that a hike of rates would aggravate a worsening inflation. The tense speculation drew the attention to the Cabinet when they met to deliberate on it.

The much-hailed decision was a double-edged sword for BN - it instantly killed off a sticky election issue and it worked towards taming an otherwise furious inflation.

But our government has a heavy price to pay - it has got to fork out a hefty 300 million to compensate the concessionaires for violating the term. In other words, the burden of the express way users has now been shifted to all Malaysians.

Our Cabinet's decision is very thought-provoking for us: Was it election-motived or market-based?

A whopping compensation calls for a relook at the efficiency of our funds allocation. Have we used them in rightly deserving areas?

Wish you a good day!

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