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Thursday, February 09, 2006

House told to stay out of tolls

Anxious to interest wary investors in the infrastructure sector, Toll Road Regulatory Authority (BPJT) director Hisnu Pawenang has called on the House of Representatives to keep out of the toll issue.

Speaking to reporters at the offices of the BPJT on Wednesday, Wisnu said that while legislators had the right to forward their views to the Public Works Ministry, they should not be involved in determining the actual amount of toll increases.

"According to the prevailing regulations, tolls are supposed to be increased every two years. This mechanism must be upheld," he was quoted as saying Wednesday by Antara.

Tolls need to be increased periodically, in line with the regulations, to allow firms to accurately calculate the likely returns on their investments, Hisnu said.
"We want to create a healthy climate in the toll road sector. Only with a better investment climate will new investors put their money into turnpike projects," he said.

He said the 26 percent toll increase for turnpikes in Greater Jakarta that had been proposed by the BPJT to the Public Works Ministry was in line with the inflation rate recorded by the Central Statistics Agency.

"It is bit high due to the fact that inflation was higher than normal in November as a result of the increase in fuel prices in October," he explained.
Tolls, except for those on the Jakarta-Cikampek turnpike, have not been increased for nine years, he added. "So, the proposed toll increase is fair," he said.

The Jakarta Post

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