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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 | MYT 2:44 PM

ERL concession extended by 30 years

KUALA LUMPUR: The Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) concession agreement has been extended by another 30 years, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told the Dewan Rakyat.

He said the reason for the extension was because the government denied the firm’s request to increase the rail fare.

He said that ERL was entitled to a fare review every five years under the initial agreement and added that the contract was supposed to end in 2029.

“When we didn’t allow them to increase the fare, we must compensate them. So, we extended the contract for another 30 years," he said in response to a question by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (Independent – Bandar Tun Razak).

Khalid wanted the Ministry to reveal the amount paid by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) to ERL since 2002. He also asked the Ministry to state the amount of compensation given by the government to MAHB since 2008 and for the details of the ERL’s financial performance since it began operations.

Abdul Aziz said the government decided to adopt a new approach in 2016 by allowing ERL to raise their fare, but set the ceiling price at RM64.

He also revealed that ERL suffered cumulative losses in taxes amounting to RM661.24mil up until the 2016 financial year.

 “The ERL had suffered losses after taxes for six years in a row from the 2009 financial year until the 2014 financial year.

"Up until the 2016 financial year, losses suffered after collected taxes amounted to RM661.24mil,” said Abdul Aziz.

According to Abdul Aziz, the ERL received a total of RM741.234mil in passenger service charge (PSC) from 2002 to 2017.

The ERL would no longer be able to collect the PSC from 2029 onwards, he added.

At the same time, Abdul Aziz revealed that the ERL had suffered a 19% drop in passengers to 8.9 million in 2016 compared to 11.03 million in 2015 after it increased its fare to RM55.

“Since the ERL began operations, it saw an average of 5.46 million passengers a year.

"In 2015, there was an increase of 20% in passengers compared to the previous year, which was 11.03 million," said Abdul Aziz.