Government to cut toll road tariff rates

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government plans to lower next week toll road tariff rates which are considered too high and have been complained of by many toll road users.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi expects that toll tariffs will be cut by 20 percent following the governments decision to extend the periods of toll road operators (BUJTs) business concessions.

The toll rate is to be lowered after the government considered extending the concession period of BUJT with a tax burden of about 15-20 percent. "So the toll rates can be cut by half," Sumadi said after giving a speech at the first anniversary of Papernusa firm in Jakarta on Sunday (March 25).

The government will also provide tax breaks for goods transportation so that logistics transportation cost would not be burdensome. The highest toll road tariff rate will be reduced by half or down to about 40 percent.

Later there will be a change in the classification of logistics trucks. The vehicle of logistics truck will be changed, according to Minister Sumadi. Rates that are so expensive will be cheaper. "For example, toll road tariffs in East Java, now Rp180,000, will be reduced to Rp90,000,"he said.

The policy will be stipulated in the public works and housing ministers regulation to be issued next week.

"It will be issued on Tuesday or Wednesday next week (April 3, April 4)," said Minister Sumadi.

The policy was taken to ease the burden of the public. The effort was made under the order of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to his cabinet. The President has ordered the reduction of the toll tariffs in 2018 now that many people had complained about toll tariffs which they considered too expensive.

For its part, President Jokowi summoned the minister of public works and public housing (PUPR) and the minister of state-owned enterprises to significantly lower the tariffs of toll roads, especially those related to logistics and cargo transportation.

Minister of PUPR Basuki Hadimuljono had said the tariff of the first class vehicles or category I in 1980 was only about Rp200-300 per kilometer. The tariff was then increased in 2000 - 2010 to Rp600 - Rp700 per kilometer.

The Tariffs continued to rise in the 2010 - 2017 period, and reached the range of Rp900 to Rp1,300 per kilometer. The tariff is set by referring to annual inflation rates.

Currently, the government plans to lower tariffs to below Rp1,000 per kilometer. But this will be disadvantageous to toll road operators (BUJT).

Therefore, the government will offer a solution that is assessed appropriate, namely lowering the tariff rates but extending the periods of BUJT business concessions.

In the meantime, state-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga has confirmed that the new tariff rates -- such as that for the Ngawi-Kertosono section -- will go down from Rp1,200 to Rp1,000 per kilometer.

"For category I vehicles, the base tariff of the 48-kilometr Ngawi-Kertosono Toll Road, will be cut from Rp1.200 per kilometer to Rp1,000 per kilometer so the fare for the Ngawi-Kertosono section will account for Rp48.000," said Corporate Secretary of PT Jasa Marga M Agus Setiawan in Jakarta, Friday (March 23).

Earlier, PUPR Minister Hadimuljono said the government would lower the tariff rates of 12 toll roads in Indonesia. "For this matter, the government is preparing a legal umbrella in the form of a Perpres (presidential regulation)," said Hadimuljono, after meeting President Jokowi.

Minister Basuki Hadimuljono noted that several logistics transport drivers, especially in Java and Sumatra, had complained about the high toll rates on both islands.

The decrease in tariff was followed by the change of vehicle classification from the five category groups into three category groups.

If currently, there are 5 category groups of I, II, III, IV, V, then they can be made into 3 groups, such as category I, II and III. The current category III, IV, V group will become one group.

President Jokowi had summoned his related ministers and 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 Jokowi stated at the office of the Ministry/State Secretariat in Jakarta, Friday (Marh 23).

"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 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.

Source: ANTARA News

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