KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — The new water tariff setting mechanism (TSM) will not cause consumer bills to rise excessively, Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji told Parliament today.
The water, land and natural resources deputy minister then cited the case of Pahang to support his assertion.
“Let’s use Pahang for an example. Let’s say that in one month a household is using 25 cubic metres of water. Under the old calculation the first 18 cubic metres of water is multiplied with 0.37 sen.
“Then you calculate the remaining seven cubic metres of water by multiplying it with 0.75 sen and add the two figures together and you will get around RM12.19.
“Under the new calculation, many think it will cause a drastic increase in water price. But this is not true. The new calculation is based on the first 20 cubic metres of water multiplied with 0.70 sen. You then add the remaining five cubic metres of water which is multiplied with RM1.30 sen.
“You will get RM20.50. The difference means it is not a drastic increase,” insisted Tengku Zulpuri who was replying to an additional question by Jeli MP (PH) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed during Question Time today.
He explained that the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) has conducted a study in which 47.8 per cent of consumers fall under the B40 category and would not be affected by the new rates.
He also pointed out that currently the cost for producing 1,000 litres of water is RM2.31 but consumers were only charged RM1.38 — leading to water treatment services bleeding out.
Tengku Zulpuri said that if this is not addressed, water service operators nationwide will not be able to give the best quality service for the public.
“Additionally, the yearly operational cost increase is not balanced with tariff increase whic has led to a few water operators being placed in difficult positions.
“While the government is determining the new water tariff, we take into consideration the B40 group’s access to water services. That’s why there is minimum tariff from as low as 0.06 sen up to 0.71 sen for every 1,000 litres.
“This is still lower when compared to other utilities such as electricity, gas and telecommunications,” he said.
Tengku Zulpuri expects the TSM to be implemented next year, once it has received Cabinet approval.