The government and the Indonesian Toll Road Association (ATI) are deliberating to grant subsidy to toll road operators (BUJT). The plan is one of the options being mulled over regarding the reduction of Trans Java toll fares that some consider to be too expensive.
Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said that the plan to reduce toll fares was conceived as a response to the complaints from Indonesian Logistics Association (ALI) about Trans Java toll fares that are too expensive, especially for big trucks.
Basuki said that the subsidy will be adjusted according to the difference between the original fares and the fares as asked by logistics companies. For instance, if the fare is Rp1,000/kilometer, it can be reduced to Rp800/kilometer. “Then the difference between the two fares will be paid by the government using the National Budget (APBN),” he said as quoted from Tribunnews.com (February 12, 2019).
Other than subsidy to the toll road operators, Basuki mentioned the other options to reduce toll fares, which are giving compensation in the form of tax reduction for the operators, extending their concession or toll road management rights, and cross subsidization between the most expensive and the cheapest toll fares.
Cross subsidization is increasing the fares on toll roads that are still considered cheap while decreasing the fares on toll roads that are considered too expensive. Basuki said that which option to take would be decided by considering the ability of the state to pay the subsidy. “We will study further to see which one can be implemented soon,” Basuki said (Kompas.com, February 12, 2019).
Some of the options are being studied by a small team consisting of BUJT and ALI representatives to formulate a policy that can accommodate the interest of logistics companies. Basuki will report to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani about the budget, before reporting to President Joko Widodo.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi welcomed the study by the PUPR Ministry to reduce the fares of Trans Java toll roads that extend from Merak to Pasuruan in order to find a solution for the complaints from ALI. “I think it is needed, and even the president has given instruction so that toll fares are not too expensive at the beginning,” he said (Tribunnews.com, February 18, 2019).
PT Jasa Marga Operations Director II Subakti Syukur said that they would just comply with whatever policy the government would come up with, even though operators would surely be impacted.
According to the agreement of toll road operations (PPJT), the new toll roads must set a fare of more than Rp1,000/kilometer if the operators are to reach break even point on schedule. “But the government decided that the ceiling fare is Rp1,000/km, when in the PPJT, it’s actually more than Rp1,000/kilometer,” Subkati said (Jawapos.com, February 13, 2019).
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