President calls for toll road tariff cuts for logistics transportation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo expects toll tariffs for logistics transportation to be lowered by the end of March.

"I call on the minister of public housing and public works and the minister of state-owned enterprises to significantly lower the tariffs of toll roads related to logistics and cargo transportation," President Widodo stated at the office of the Ministry of Secretariat State, Jakarta, Friday.

Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono had earlier noted that several logistics transport drivers, especially in Java and Sumatra Island, had complained of the high toll rates on both islands.

Tariffs on the use of toll roads built during the 1980-2000 period amounted to Rp212 to Rp416 per kilometer. Tariffs on the usage of toll roads built during the 2000-2010 period were set at Rp709 per kilometer while tariffs of toll roads built since 2015 until now are set at between Rp750 and Rp1,500 per kilometer.

"I will continue to strive for the toll road projects to get a tax holiday, so that the cost burden on the calculations arising from the lowered tariffs could be reduced," the president remarked.

The president believes that increasing the concession will help to reduce the cost that leads to rising tariffs.

"One of the efforts to reducing the cost that led to the high tariffs is to increase the concession. I think, maybe, tariffs may be cut by 20 percent or 30 percent, and this could be done immediately next week or at the end of this month," the president stated.

President Widodo said he had already calculated the reduction in toll tariffs.

"Just getting it counted. I have received the count, but calculations on tax holidays and how long the concession could be extended, has not yet been done," the president noted.

President Widodo called on the public to not harbor concerns over the impact of extending the toll concession.

"What we are trying to do is to create efficiency and competitiveness. The goods (toll roads) are in our country, in Indonesia, and if the ownership is moved to other countries, then it is just a matter of concern," the president explained.

Several toll tariff reduction options can be applied, for instance, by extending concessions, from a 35-40 year period to 50 years.

The second option is to simplify the categories of vehicles passing on the toll roads, especially for logistics transportation. If currently, there are 4 groups of II, III, IV, V vehicle categories, then they can be made into 2 groups, such as II and III, so that the III, IV, V groups will become one group.

The third option is offering tax allowance and tax holiday to toll road construction investors, in particular for the new toll projects, as investing in the development of a toll road is viewed as being economically less attractive to investors.

Source: ANTARA News

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