18% average reduction on toll rates in Plus Highway a condition for potential buyers

12 Oct 2019 / 16:38 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Companies who wish to acquire the Plus Highway must fulfil two conditions before they can proceed, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix).

He said the first condition is to ensure that there is a minimum 18% of average reduction in the present toll charges, while the second is to make sure that it is fiscally positive.

“It must not increase the government’s debt’s burden and also not increase the government’s debt servicing charges,“ he said at a press conference after the Budget 2020 briefing to elected representative in the Parliament today.

He was responding to his announcement yesterday that the Cabinet may consider all proposals to acquire or dispose all shares of the highway, and that the 18% discount will be imposed to all toll rates under Plus.

On another matter, he said a mechanism to create an incentive for those unemployed for more than a year, and the employers who hired them, will be created under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Under the Budget 2020 Graduates@work scheme, those who are unemployed for more than 12 months will receive an incentive of RM500 for two years, while the employer will receive RM300 for the same duration of time.

“We understand that employers cannot pay so high, but employees will not accept jobs if the pay is too low, so we want to incentivise and provide an opportunity for unemployed graduates and non-graduates to motivate them to work,“ he said.

Lim said this solution will hopefully create 350,000 jobs for the next five years.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that we can provide useful and renumerative jobs to Malaysians,“ he said.

When asked about the property supply overhang, Lim said the sales threshold of condominiums and apartments to foreigners for RM600,000 will not affect local housebuyers, because the locals are not buying these high rise buildings in the first place.

“If local Malaysians do not want to buy, why not sell it to others? It will inject money back into the local economy, and we are not preventing local buyers from buying these properties,“ he said.

He added that this supply overhang applies to the present situation of unsold high rise condos and apartments, and not for something in the future.

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