SHAH ALAM, Dec 6 — All states have agreed in principle to implement water tariff adjustments expected by next year, said Water, Lands and Natural Resource Minister Datuk Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar.
The ministry is still negotiating on a number of matters before it is finalised, Dr Xavier said, adding that he would hold full discussions with the relevant states on the new water tariffs, soon.
“Water tariffs have not been revised for the last 20 years. We want people to understand that the water industry requires a lot of funds to reduce the risk of supply disruptions. However, the government assures that (new) water tariffs will not burden consumers,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after opening the Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Ladang Midland hostel building, here yesterday, he said the new utility tariff would not exceed two per cent of household spending which was seen as reasonable.
Dr Xavier said the government was also prepared to amend the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Wasia) next year to streamline procedures and regulations, including involving private companies in the development of the national water industry.
The proposed implementation of the mechanism involves an increase of 0.06 sen to 0.71 sen per 1,000 litres, quite low compared to other utilities such as electricity, gas and telecommunications.
The current average water tariff rate is RM1.38 per 1,000 litres compared to the actual cost of RM2.31 per 1,000 litres.
Meanwhile, referring to the construction of the school hostel which was opened yesterday, Dr Xavier said it was a first for SJKTs nationwide and aims to accommodate 200 boys from Year Four to Six from low-income families.
“The hostel is a pilot project to provide assistance to the group. Because it’s a pilot project, we put the boys first. Here, they will be provided with healthy food and education as well as nurtured with good discipline to ensure that their future is secure,” he said.
The four-storey hostel comprising 50 bedrooms was constructed at a cost of RM4 million, fully funded by the Selangor government and will begin accepting students for next year’s school session.