SHAH ALAM, Nov 21 — State governments do not have the authority to approve increases in water tariffs as this matter needs to be brought to the ministerial level despite the need to do so.
Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari, in reference to the Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Ministry, said any state would agree to raise water tariffs as a solution to the increase in operating costs borne by concessionaires.
“Any minister responsible for managing water and natural resources will eventually agree that tariff increases are part of the solution.
“Pahang, for example, has not been able to bear its huge debt burden because it has not been able to raise tariffs for 30 years. Only Johor has successfully raised (tariffs) before 2018 because it was able to replace the whole lot of 20,000 pipes that needed to be changed,” he said.
Amirudin was speaking during his wind-up debate on the Supply Enactment Bill 2024 at the Selangor State Legislative Assembly session today.
However, Selangor continues to provide free water despite the high cost after seeing the initiative benefits the people.
In the meantime, the increase in water tariffs had also been agreed upon by other states, including those led by Perikatan Nasional.
Responding to Opposition leader cum Hulu Kelang state assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s interjection in relation to the alleged water tariff review to be made within six months next year, he said the matter should be decided at the Federal level.
“It is not us (state government) that completely decides…we do not have a date yet. The schedule is around the first six months of next year after approval by the National Water Services Commission (SPAN).
“This is a mutual agreement… I have said objectively all states should agree (as) not only our state is burdened but other states as well. We have not decided when to raise tariffs as the minister will decide the schedule,” Amirudin added.
The assembly session continues tomorrow.